MIT's Army ROTC was cited by the US Army last week for being the most outstanding unit in the country.
The unit, known as the Paul Revere Battalion, received the award last Thursday at a ceremony in the President's Courtyard adjoining the Bush Room. Presented annually, the award is sponsored by The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America.
The engraved certificate honoring the unit was accepted by Battalion commander Danielle Boudreau of Harvard, flanked by Cadets Ishwar Sivakumar of MIT, Jared Levant of Tufts and Michaele Mandulak of Wellesley, representing the four schools in the unit. The certificate said the unit was honored for "having excelled in both the military science program and in academic endeavors."
Dean of Students Robert P. Redwine, accepting the award for MIT, read a letter of congratulations written by President Charles M. Vest to Major Brian L. Baker, the unit's director of military science.
"Army ROTC is an enduring and vital part of life at MIT and we welcome this well-deserved recognition for the corps and cadre of the Paul Revere Battalion," President Vest wrote. "Your service brings honor to your school, and each of you brings honor to your service."
MIT introduced military science courses shortly after the Civil War. By the time Congress established the ROTC in 1916, MIT had produced more active regular Army officers than any school except West Point.
"We take great pride in the long, unbroken and distinguished history of ROTC at MIT," President Vest wrote. "We hold in great esteem the thousands of magnificent young men and women who have passed through the ranks of our Corps of Cadets."
Cadet Sivakumar, the only MIT student among the unit's six seniors, received a $2,000 scholarship from the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. Previously, he received many ROTC honors, including the Outstanding Citizen Award from the National Sojourners, the National Legion Award for Scholastic Excellence and the Bronze Medal from the Society of American Military Engineers.
"It has been quite demanding to balance the MIT workload and be in Army ROTC," said Cadet Sivakumar, who is majoring in electrical engineering and computer science. "Being able to handle the two is something I am very proud of."
The ceremony concluded with the corps presenting a gift to retired Lt. Col. Robert R. Rooney, previous director of the battalion.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 27, 2000.