George Washington University Leadership Conference

This past October, several ambitious Midshipmen of our unit were given the opportunity
to hone in on their critical thinking skills and learn from some of our nation’s finest men
and women at George Washington University’s “Capital Leadership Conference”,
hosted by GWU NROTC’s Capital Battalion in Washington, D.C. MIDN 1/C Song, 2/C
Price, 2/C Czajkowski, 3/C McKay, 3/C O’Donnell, and 3/C Vaughters were
accompanied by Ensign Benieowski, and heard briefs on topics such as international
security assistance, interventionism, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and leadership
ethics as part of the conference’s focus on “Military Ethics: Past, Present, and Future”.
Throughout the event, our Midshipmen met with others from around the country, spoke
with senior-ranking military servicemen and women, and even managed to schedule PT
and exploration of the city into their liberty time. The conference concluded with a
strategic crisis simulation — a war game in which Midshipmen were divided into two
teams and were tasked with navigating a hypothetical, although highly topical, conflict
between the United States and China in the South China Sea, where China, or “Red
Country”, as it was called, escalated the tensions caused by the continued militarization
of their artificially-constructed islands. Here, teamwork and decisiveness played vital
roles in the success or failure of each of the teams, and our Midshipmen were allowed
unique opportunities to test their battle strategies, to prioritize their country’s policies,
and to develop their diplomatic skills in a hyper-realistic situation. All in all, these
Midshipmen gained important advice and new thoughts on age-old principles and ethics
of leadership, all of which contributed greatly to their personal and professional
development as rising Junior Officers in our Navy and Marine Corps. They would highly
recommend this conference and any others which provide similar experiences for any
future MIDN who wishes to grow more deeply in their own leadership development.

By MIDN 3/C Zachary McKay


The George Washington University Leadership Conference

A handful of lucky midshipmen from our unit were selected to go to Washington D.C. from October 13-15th to attend the George Washington University’s Fall Leadership Conference.

These MIDN include: MIDN 2/C Bonner, MIDN 2/C Nagy, MIDN 2/C McDonough, MIDN 3/C Klo, MIDN 3/C Yancoski, and MIDN 3/C Freschi.   The MIDN were gratefully accompanied by ENS Kwasnik.

All these MIDN would be more than happy to share their own personal experience of the conference if you were to run into them on 3rd Deck.

The theme for the speakers at this year’s conference was “Lessons Learned.” Our MIDN fell nothing short of enlightened as our experienced sailors and marines before us shared their tales and sea stories that they feel were ‘defining moments’ to their Naval and Marine Corps careers.

Speakers at the conference included:  an Ambassador to four seperate presidents, Dennis Ross, with the topic ‘Lessons from the Middle East’, the CO of USMC OCS’s remarks by Col. A.T. Williamson, Dr. Peter L. Hays with ‘US Space Corps’, Col. Don Christenssen (ret.) with ‘Protect our Defenders’, and many more notable figures with inspiring topics to be heard.  The conference included a chance for the MIDN to interact with a Junior Officer Panel, and many of the high ranking speakers stuck around to talk to the MIDN that would one day fill their shoes.


A notable organization also made an appearence at the conference known as ‘No One Left Behind’.  With an inspiring story of the foundation of this non-profit, many of the MIDN’s eyes were opened to the risks and dangers in the life of an Afghan or Iraqi translator. To learn more about the organization and it’s mission, the link to their website can be found here:


AIG Tailgate

The rain couldn’t put a damper on the MIDN and our fantastic alumni’s spirits this past weekend!

The PSU NROTC Alumni Interest Group (AIG) expressed their generosity once again for our unit on Saturday, the 2nd of September, 2017 with their annual tailgate in honor of the current MIDN here at Penn State!

Despite the rain, it was all smiles for our alumni and MIDN alike, as the new 4/C’s got a chance to hear stories from MIDN past, and 1/C MIDN chatted excitedly with eager veterans and active duty sailors and marines about their impending commissioning.

The food was great and and Penn State football took their first win of the season!!


Sigma PI’s Wilford Beisel Memorial Flagpole Dedication


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This past Saturday, November 12, the Theta Chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity honored its brothers who served in World War II. The Wilford Beisel Memorial Flagpole Dedication held by the Fraternity, is in respect for the 93 brothers who served in World War II. The NROTC Unit helped put together a joint service Color Guard to hoist the flag in a professional manner. It is great to see other parts of the community showing their support for Veterans, and the NROTC Battalion is proud to be able to provide the necessary logistics to make it happen. More can be found about the event from the Center Daily Times’ article here.

Here is a letter showing the gratitude of the Sigma Pi Fraternity to us for volunteering for this ceremony.

On behalf of Theta Chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity I want to express our great appreciation for your performance as the Penn State Joint ROTC Color Guard at our dedication ceremony of the Sigma Pi WW2 Memorial Flagpole on 12 November 2016. As I mentioned in my address, you were the centerpiece of the ceremony. Your professionalism provided the necessary elan crucial to such a military event. The bugle calls you brought along added further to creating the proper martial atmosphere. Thank you for a job well done.
As a season ticket holder and 1970 graduate of Penn State’s Army ROTC program, I would also like to express how proud I am of your troop and their posting of the Colors before every home football game at Beaver Stadium. Simply put – you’re “outstanding”. Keep up the good work.
Good luck with your academic studies and future military/naval careers. And always remember: WE ARE . . . .(and always will be) PENN STATE !


Thomas C. Fosnacht
Colonel, US Army, Retired
PSU Class of 1970, past Sage of Theta Chapter

Volunteering in the Community

The Penn State NROTC Battalion is largely involved with the community. We participate in various community service events and volunteer for many parades and marches, especially during the week leading up to Veteran’s day. It is important midshipman understand the value of giving back to the community and are encouraged to volunteer as much as they can. As future Naval and Marine Corps Officers, they will be expected to put others first and volunteering in community events is a big step towards achieving that.

United Way Day of Caring

On Thursday 6 October, the battalion kept up its annual participation in the Day of Caring where the midshipmen give time out of their day to service their community. Some of the service work included clearing trails, building stages, and developing a garden area on the Boal Mansion’s estate. Some midshipmen were sent to Boy Scout Troop 380 to lend a hand on various tasks, including help in the construction of a log cabin.


LT Michael P Murphy Dinner

Several midshipmen were able to attend a dinner sponsored by the Navy League of Centre County where LT Michael Murphy Distinguished Citizen Award was presented to an outstanding community member. We were honored to be among guest that included Daniel Murphy, Col Tom Manion, USMC (Ret.), and the awardee, Tom Cali, as well as being joined by former MOI, Major John Fulton as the emcee.

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Veterans Week Events

Lasch Building Tour

The University held various events leading up to Veterans day on November 11. The football military appreciation game vs Iowa was approaching and Coach Franklin invited the ROTC Battalions to join him at practice to show his respect.  Midshipmen and cadets of all branches were invited into the football program’s Lasch Building and received the opportunity to tour the iconic building and meet with Coach Franklin and the players after practice.


Veterans Day Ceremony

The NROTC Battalion provided a formation of midshipmen as well as a tri-service Color Guard to march in the ceremony. The midshipmen and cadets stepped off from Wagner Building and made stop at the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Veterans Memorial to show their respect and honor for those who answered the call to serve. The ceremony ended with a formation at Old Main where midshipmen and cadets stood at attention while various speeches were given honoring the veterans who have served to protect us.

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September Recap

The 2016-2017 School Year is Underway

The past month of September has been a busy one for the Penn State NROTC Battalion. With the introduction of the class of 2020 and various Battalion wide events, the unit is already making an impact this school year.

Alumni Tailgate

On Saturday 3 September, the Alumni Interest Group hosted a tailgate for the Penn State vs Kent State game. It allowed a chance for alumni to interact with the midshipman and give back to the unit and it gave the current midshipmen a chance to meet those leaders who have gone before them. Penn State won 33 – 13. Many thanks to all of the alumni and everyone that helped make the event possible.

Midshipmen enjoy the hospitality and great tailgate of the Alumni Interest Group and are very thankful for all they do.

Midshipmen enjoy the great tailgate hosted by the Alumni Interest Group and are very thankful for all they do.

Travis Manion 9/11 Heroes Run

On Sunday 11 September, approximately 50 Midshipmen participated in the Travis Manion 9/11 Heroes Run to benefit the Travis Manion Foundation. Travis Manion was a Marine Officer from Pennsylvania who lost his life fighting in the War on Terror. The Midshipmen showed their support for the cause by standing in a formation for the Opening Ceremony, provided a Color Guard, and ran in a formation during the race.


Midshipmen and cadets from all three branches came together to pay respects for those who came before on September 16th for the POW MIA Vigil. Those men and women who served their country and paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom are remembered for the heroism. Midshipman and cadets form together for a ceremony dedicated to these heroes and they stand watch all through the night to protect the image of these great men and women.



Sub Ball, Tri-Service Awards and more


By MIDN 1/C Erbs

It has been an eventful few weeks in the Penn State Naval ROTC Battalion. Midshipmen attended the Groton, CT Submarine Ball (pictured above), as well as received awards during the Penn State Tri-service award ceremonies. Awards ranged from local to national level awards, presented in a Schwab Auditorium ceremony held on the 7th of April.

The awards week culminated in the Senior Dining in. This event is a celebration of the Senior class’s time in the Battalion. It was an overwhelming success, filled with laughter and merriment. Now, the Senior class refocuses on their remaining goal: successful commissioning.

Naval Academy Leadership Conference


By: MIDN 1/C Andrew Erbs

Penn State NROTC Midshipmen visited the Naval Academy for their annual leadership conference from January 24-26. This year’s theme was cultivating relationships. Notable speakers included Former Deputy director of the NSA, John Inglis, and former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral James Winnefeld.

Penn State attendees included the battalion executive officer and the battalion operations officer.

Penn State Homecoming Parade 2015

By MIDN 1/C Elyard


The Penn State Class of 2019 Fall Basic Team participated in Penn State’s Homecoming Parade. This was an exhibition of the drill work that the freshmen have learned in their time so far at Penn State and a direct reflection of the hard work done by the upperclassmen midshipmen who led the team.


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