The new head of military science at the University of Northern Iowa says support for the Army R-O-T-C program remains strong. Lieutenant Colonel Chris Lukasiewicz took office in July and is finding strong backing on campus and in the Cedar Falls community.Lukasiewicz says there are eight cadre members who help instruct the freshmen through the seniors along with 51 cadets currently enrolled in the program. He says the number of cadets has stayed constant for many years at U-N-I. Lukasiewicz says part of his mission on campus is to get a certain number of students to sign on the dotted line to serve our country upon graduation. The number of cadets that U-N-I is supposed to commission into the Army is set at 14 and he sees that number rising to 15 or 16. Last year, 19 were commissioned, well above what was required. With constant news of the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to military relief efforts underway on the hurricane-shocked Gulf Coast, Lukasiewicz says some colleges in the nation might be having a hard time finding new R-O-T-C recruits, but not in Cedar Falls. Lukasiewicz says “It’s a tough sell, especially during times of war, but in Iowa, the support we get, military support is phenomenal. I don’t see that changing just because there’s a war going on.” Lukasiewicz is a Colorado native and came to U-N-I from a teaching assignment at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He’s 44-years-old and has been in the Army more than 20 years, serving tours of duty in Germany, Hungary and Bosnia. His military assignment at U-N-I is for three years.
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