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UWT Director attends U.S. Army ROTC Centers of Influence Leadership Symposium

Steve Sin and partner rappelling down tower

In June, Unconventional Weapons and Technology (UWT) Director Steve Sin attended the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Centers of Influence (COI) Leadership Symposium held at Fort Knox, Ky.

The annual Symposium is a two-day leadership education workshop that brings faculty and administration representatives from institutions of higher education together with Army ROTC program managers and curriculum developers.

During the workshop, attendees held open dialogues on how institutions of higher education and the Army ROTC program can collaborate to recruit, educate, train and produce highly qualified graduates as the next generation of leaders, with some of those graduates choosing to serve in the Army as officers. The attendees also discussed the benefits, opportunities and options offered to the students and the institutions by the Army ROTC program.

“It was great to speak with so many passionate educators from across the country about the need for higher education institutions to prepare our students not only to be contributing members of our society but to be leaders – whether as Army officers or not – who will lead our society in facing future world challenges,” Sin said. “Attending the Symposium also made me think about how university research organizations such as START can enhance the experiences and critical skills of Army ROTC cadets, by providing them with opportunities to work on the types of national security-relevant, real-world research projects that START conducts.”

The Symposium also provided its attendees an opportunity to experience a small part of the Army ROTC Cadet Summer Training (CST), a 37-day training event that is designed to assess a cadet’s ability to demonstrate proficiency in basic officer leadership tasks, by participating in a few events that all cadets must complete to graduate from CST.

Sin, who previously served as a U.S. Army Officer commissioned through the Army ROTC program, had the opportunity to rappel off a 64-foot open-face tower, also referred to as “free fall,” during the Symposium.

“It was exhilarating! Rappelling, in the context of leadership training, is all about confidence building,” Sin said. “It’s designed to build confidence for the cadets – confidence in yourself, confidence in your equipment, confidence in your training and confidence in your team. The last time I rappelled was over 25 years ago, but I had confidence in the equipment, in the training of the cadre running the tower and in myself that I could get through it. I saw the same confidence and determination in the eyes of the cadets attending the CST. I would boldly predict that the Army and our nation are in good hands.”