Shaping leaders for a half-century
The Lumberjack Department of Military Science was launched at SFA in 1968 to provide college-trained officers for the United States Army, the United States Army Reserve and the Army National Guard.
The ROTC program itself has a rich history. The idea of military instruction for students gained popularity in the U.S. during the Civil War, when Congress voted to provide free land for civilian colleges that offered it. The "land-grant" system of military training was transformed into the present-day Reserve Officer Training Corps when President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Defense Act of 1916. Since then, Army ROTC has provided leadership and military training at schools and universities across the country and has commissioned more than 500,000 officers. It stands as the largest commissioning source in the American military.
Lumberjack Battalion has a history of great leadership
The Lumberjack ROTC program has commissioned more than 640 officers, including Maj. Gen. Neil S. Hersey. Hersey is the commandant of the U.S. Army Cyber School in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
The late Lt. Gen. Orren R. “Cotton” Whiddon is the highest-ranking Army officer to graduate from SFA, where he attended before the Lumberjack Battalion was created. He served as commanding general of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division from 1985 to 1987 and as commanding general of the Second United States Army from 1987 to 1990.
Activities and organizations
Since the Lumberjack Battalion’s inaugural year, members have created and sponsored several extracurricular organizations that enable cadets to grow as leaders and train for military service while supporting the students and community that make up the SFA family.
- The Raiders Tactical Unit, the cadet ranger organization, was formed the same year as the Lumberjack Battalion. The Raiders have played a vital role in the recruitment and retention of young men and women into the Lumberjack Corps of Cadets.
- The SFA Color Guard organization was formed in 1970 to present colors at home football games, parades and other events.
- The Stone Fort Battery Cannon Crew is an ROTC spirit organization. The members fire "Ol’ Cotton," a 75 mm cannon, at football games and other events to promote spirit among SFA students and the Lumberjack Battalion.
A salute to Lumberjack Battalion Professors of Military Science
The first professor of military science of the Lumberjack Battalion was Lt. Col. James E. Calahan, who served from 1968 to 1971.
Other professors of military science throughout the years:
- Lt. Col.l William J. LeClair (1971-74)
- Lt. Col. Talton E. Pace (1974-79)
- Col. Terry M. Carlton (1979-82)
- Lt. Col. Paul W. Kellerhals (1982-87)
- Lt. Col.Fredrick Stepaniak (1987-88)
- Lt. Col. Kenneth C. Meredith (1988-90)
- Lt. Col. Van S. Ellis (1990-92)
- Maj. Patrick M. Parker (1992-94)
- Lt. Col. Steven E. Clay (1994-97)
- Lt. Col. Armor D. Brown (1997-2000)
- Lt. Col. Michel J. W. Jimerson (2000-03)
- Lt. Col. Jeffrey A. Pike (2003-07)
- Lt. Col. Todd Reichert (2007-12)
- Lt. Col. David Miller (2012-15)
- Lt. Col. Paul Pfeiffer (2015-18)
- Lt. Col. James A. Attaway, III (2018-22)
Lieutenant Colonel James Vance is the current professor of military science.