Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Cadets fly around on a CH-47 at Camp Blanding

Chinook Ride

Cadets fly around on a CH-47 at Camp Blanding

History of ERAU ROTC Program

Army ROTC was first established at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as a cross-enrolled program from John B. Stetson University on 20 June 1979.  As a cross-enrolled school, no cadre were assigned on campus.

In April 1980, the Army ROTC program at ERAU achieved extension center status, which allowed the assignment of full-time personnel.  The first officer assigned was Major Leo P. LaFrance.  MSG Luther W. Davidson was the first senior NCO assigned.

The growth of the Army ROTC program at ERAU continued and in October 1982 the Department of the Army granted host status.  Host status enabled Embry-Riddle to become a separate detachment, no longer directed by Stetson University.  The first Professor of Military Science was LTC Richard L. Sauer who was succeeded in 1983 by LTC Evender Spradlin, in August 1986 by LTC Frank L. Carson, in July 1988 by LTC James McCord, in August 1992 by LTC John T. Moore, in August 1996 by LTC Terry J. Mularkey, in November 1999 by MAJ David E. Bassett, in April 2000 by MAJ(P) Nickolas D. Macchiarella, in August 2004 by MAJ(P) Schaefer, in June 2008 by MAJ(P) Clark, in August 2009 by LTC Robert Kelly and in  August 2011 by LTC Garret Messner.

Embry-Riddle's MS III's superior performance at Advanced Camp in 1983 placed them high in the 1st ROTC Region's Order of Merit ranking and established the program as the best new ROTC detachment in 1st Region.  The program again gained Regional recognition in 1986-87 when the ERAU Ranger Challenge team placed third in a field of 23 schools from Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico in the 6th Brigade Ranger Challenge Competition at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The team came back strong in 1998, and again in 2000, to win the Brigade Ranger Challenge Competition, and was invited to compete in the prestigious Sandhurst Competition at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York where they won best ROTC team honors. During the school year 1998-99, Cadet Command selected ERAU as being in the top 2.5% of all ROTC programs in the nation.

Bethune Cookman College became a cross-enrolled institution on 3 January 1983 and in 2007 it became Bethune-Cookman University. Stetson University became the second cross-enrolled school in 1991.

Eagle Battalion cadets have continued to demonstrate excellence in leadership throughout the years at Advanced Camp.  The Ranger Challenge team has also established itself as a driving force of leadership, physical stamina and small unit tactics expertise throughout their years of continuing competition. Since 2000 the team has consistently placed in the top 3 of all the teams in 6th Brigade.