By Mackensie Moore
Three ISU ROTC cadets were presented the Governor’s Cup Award at a ceremony honoring their outstanding leadership and service April 9.
The Governor’s Cup Award ceremony is held annually to honor cadets and midshipmen who are outstanding not only in their ROTC programs, but in academics, extracurricular activities and their all around leadership skills.
Maj. Gen. Timothy Orr, adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard, has attended the Governor’s Cup Award ceremony for the last five years and said that each year, he is amazed by the achievements of the cadets and midshipman being honored.
“[The award] recognizes excellence, and seeing the cadets being honored makes you feel good knowing that the nation is in good hands for the future,” Orr said.
Each professor of military science at each Iowa university chooses the cadets to be honored that year.
For the 2013-14 academic year, nine cadets were chosen from Iowa State University, Buena Vista University, Drake University, the University of Iowa, the University of Dubuque and the University of Northern Iowa.
After beginning remarks from Gov. Terry Branstad thanking the cadets, midshipman, fellow legislatures and family members in attendance, the award ceremony began.
Each program leader was introduced and came up to the podium to discuss his or her cadet’s characteristics, traits and accolades as an ROTC cadet or midshipman.
Lt. Col. Richard Smith, professor of military science, introduced Zachary Graham, senior in anthropology. Smith spoke of Graham’s leadership in the Cyclone Battalion and referred to Graham as “selfless” and “always putting the battalion first.”
“The Governor’s Cup is an outstanding opportunity, and while I’m honored to have received the award, I can also think of many other cadets just as qualified,” Graham said. “I’m definitely really humbled to have been chosen.”
Charles Hohnbaum, recent graduate of materials engineering, was introduced by Ryan Hollman, professor and chairman of air force aerospace studies. Hollman described Hohnbaum as a “very successful Air Force ROTC cadet” who will “begin the next chapter of his life on active duty” next month.
“The award is a recognition of the great things ROTC programs are doing to prepare cadets for the future, and because of the ROTC program, I definitely feel ready for active duty in the Air Force,” Hohnbaum said.
Daniel Buhr, adjunct assistant professor of naval science, introduced Kelly Larkin, senior in political science. Buhr thanked Larkin’s family, who attended the ceremony, for “raising an outstanding young man who is dedicated to ROTC, the Navy and the military.”
Larkin said having his family there meant a lot to him because it has been very supportive.
“[The ceremony] showed me that not only are my parents supporting me but we also have Gov. Branstad and the whole state of Iowa behind us as well,” Larkin said.
All the cadets and leaders in attendance said that the Governor’s Cup Award is confirmation of Iowa’s reputation of being committed to servicemen and servicewomen.
“[The award is] a testament of the governor and the state of Iowa to want to recognize ROTC cadets even though they know the cadets might not stay in Iowa,” Orr said. “It’s just very special — I don’t know that any other state that does this.”
After cadets were introduced, Branstad and Orr then presented them with the silver cup award and plaque, a certificate of achievement and an achievement coin.