It’s only fitting that UC Santa Barbara’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) commissions its cadets as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army at Goleta Beach. Where else would the Surfrider Battalion go?
The battalion returned to the beach Friday, June 15, to commission 13 cadets before family and friends. Eight of the new officers will go on active duty, while five will serve in the National Guard, Army Reserve or receive medical training. Most will attend Basic Officer Leaders Course.
This year’s second lieutenants are Dominique Chan, Joshua Crisostomo, Sarah Holderman, Bryan Hudson, Alexander Lanthier, Minh Le, Javier Lopez, Stuart Love, Andrew Ripley, Gene Schreck, Dylan Stevens, Nicole Subosheva and Tyler Zion.
The Surfrider Battalion has been a staple on campus since before there was a campus. It was established in 1947 at the Santa Barbara College of the University of California at Santa Barbara, preceding the official founding of the university’s current campus and making it the oldest organization at UCSB.
The training corps was part of the National Defense Act of 1916 signed by President Woodrow Wilson. The act formally established the ROTC to train and prepare high school and college students for military service. The program has changed a lot since then, going from mandatory to voluntary, opening to women and becoming a pathway for dedicated students to explore the options offered by the military.
The modern ROTC focuses on training a diverse group of undergraduates to become leaders, whether they choose to serve in the military or not. Students complete military-specific training while they work toward their undergraduate degrees, with scholarships available to those who choose to pursue a career with the armed forces.
The department’s lower-division curriculum imparts valuable military knowledge, while upper-division courses give students both theoretical and practical leadership and management skills. The department offers no majors or minors, instead augmenting what is already offered by the university to prepare its cadets for service.