University of Minnesota
Cadets apply problem solving skills during FLRC where teamwork and creative thinking are essential.

Field Leadership Reaction Course

Cadets apply problem solving skills during FLRC where teamwork and creative thinking are essential.

Cadet Lucas Manke

Cadet Battalion Commander

Cadet Lucas Manke is the Gopher Battalion Cadet Battalion Commander. As the Cadet Battalion Commander, Cadet Manke is responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen within the Corps of Cadets. He continually provide intent and guidance to the Battalion staff, maintain strong communication with the Cadre, remain emotionally neutral, supervise all training events, keep ahead of the training calendar, and making the final call for decisions.

Cadet Manke is originally from Anoka, MN . He is a senior Mechanical Engineering Major and a Business Administration Minor at the University of St. Thomas. He is the captain of the University of St. Thomas swim and dive team and was a Stanford University innovation fellow for his school. Cadet Manke will be commissioning this May as an Aviation officer in Active Duty, he will go on to Fort Rucker, Alabama to complete Aviation BOLC-B and flight school.

"The Army ROTC program at the U of MN prepared me to be a leader because it taught me how to manage my time effectively and make sound decisions in a timely manner. Not only have I met some of my best friends through the Gopher Battalion, but I have also been able to do some very cool stuff. I got to travel to Poland for a month where I went through an international leadership course with cadets from over 10 NATO countries, got to attend Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, and got to be a Test Engineering Intern at the Army Test and Evaluation Center in Aberdeen, Maryland. ROTC has prepared me to be a confident and capable leader no matter what my future holds, and I am thankful to be given the opportunity to be a part of such a great organization."

Cadet Grace Nielson

Cadet Executive Officer

Cadet Grace Nielson is the Cadet Executive Officer (XO) for the Gopher Battalion. As the Cadet XO, she is responsible for the staff's production and communication, handle fund requests, the number one advisor to the Cadet Battalion Commander, find resources for events, remain weeks ahead of the current date, assist the S3 execute events, and handle all complaints and issues within staff.

Cadet Grace Nielson is a senior at the University of St. Thomas majoring in International Studies and minoring in History and Economics. She is also a member of the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, and the sweetheart of the Sigma Chi - Iota Tau Chapter at University of St. Thomas. Cadet Grace Nielson will be commissioning in May as a Military Intelligence Officer in Active Duty.

"Through my three-year ROTC scholarship, I have been able to attend university for free, study abroad in multiple countries, train with the Mongolian Army, intern at the Army Museum Center in Anniston, AL, lead platoon operations through the Cadet Troop Leadership Training with the 62nd ESB at Fort. Hood, and receive high-level training while in the Golden Gopher Battalion."

Cadet Conner Gross

Cadet Command Sergeant Major

Cadet Conner Gross is the Cadet Sergeant Major (SGM) for Gopher Battalion. As the Cadet SGM, he responsible for enforcing the standards and policies set by the PMS to the Cadets, guiding all leadership positions, ensuring all of the Commander’s goals are met both as a staff and at training events, maintaining safety for the battalion, and to be the primary advisor to the Cadet Battalion Commander for discipline and welfare of Cadets.

Cadet Conner Gross is a senior at the University of Minnesota graduating in Fall 2020 with a Bachelor’s in Sociology. Cadet Conner Gross will like to branch into the Infantry when he commission.

"Gopher Battalion has taught me many things and will have a direct impact on my success in the Army. Whether it was the multiple leadership positions I was able to have, the pertinent course material, taught by more than qualified instructors, or the lessons and experiences I received with my fellow cadets, I strongly believe I will be a better officer because of it. I learned valuable interpersonal relation skills, time management, how to deal with tough problems, and to truly take advantage of the opportunities presented in this career field."