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USD ROTC Ranked 37th on National Order of Merit List

A USD ROTC cadet at a graduation ceremony. The student has a hand up in a salute. The USD ROTC has been ranked No. 37 in the national Order of Merit (OMS) list, increasing 100 spots from last year.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) has been ranked No. 37 in the national Order of Merit Scores (OMS) list, increasing 100 spots from last year.

The OMS rankings are determined by cadets’ performances in academics, leadership and physical fitness levels.

“Our rise in the ROTC OMS rankings is a testament to the talents, hard work and determination of our cadets,” said Maj. Adam Kirschling, USD professor of military science. “Over the past couple of years, we have experienced a considerable amount of growth in our ROTC program. The efforts of our recruiting and the commitment from the university has enabled us to field an incredibly talented corps of cadets. I am excited to see the levels of excellence that this program will reach in the future. I am confident that in short order this battalion will be among the top programs in the country.”

The USD ROTC program has been a part of the university for over 100 years. The program has commissioned over 2,200 second lieutenants and more than 30 colonels into the U.S. Army.

Congressional Medal of Honor recipients Capt. Joe Foss ‘39, Capt. Arlo Olson ‘40 and Col. George E. “Bud” Day ‘49 were members of the USD ROTC.

In addition to its three Medal of Honor recipients, USD graduated the first two women in the nation to be commissioned in the Regular Army through its ROTC program in 1976—Cindy Orton and Sandy Koopman.

USD and ROTC alumni Lt. Gen. Ronald Place ‘86, director of the Defense Health Agency, and retired Col. Andrea Thompson ‘88 are members of the ROTC Hall of Fame.

For more information about USD’s ROTC, visit


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News