Mark Johnson


The Morning Sun

Pittsburg, KS
Friday, September 3, 1999

PSU ROTC Program Harvests Record at Training Camp

by Kim Bumstead

Pittburg State University President Tom Bryant accepted on behalf of the university a national championship trophy Thursday at the Overman Student Center. Lt. Col. William (Mark) Johnson, chairperson of PSU's Military Science Department, presented the trophy on behalf of 52 students who attended a summer Army ROTC training camp at Fort Knox, KY.

The record number PSU students attending summer camp doubled the previous high number , 25, set by California State-Fullerton. The average for universities nationally is three students. PSU had never sent more than seven students.

"It is not a trophy, piece of paper, or a press conference that's important," Johnson said. We've given an opportunity to 52 great people ot be officers in the U.S. Army. Those people deserve all praise and glory. These young Americans make us proud."

The summer camp is designed for students who will be sophomores and juniors and who have taken one or two ROTC classes, or have no prior exposure to ROTC or the Army. It's an intensive 35 days of training.

According to Johnson, what is more important than setting a new record is that 23 PSU students earned full-ride scholarships for their performance at the camp.

"They earned it by the Army standards," he said. "They represent the quality we want."

One of the quality students who attended summer camp was Cadet Mindy Meier, junior from Parsons.

"I joined ROTC because I decided it was time to put my life in perspective," Meier said. "Most of my friends wish they could do it. They respect me for it."

She said leadership skills learned during summer camp will help her and the other cadets next summer when they attend advanced camp at Fort Lewis, WA.

"We run the camp," Meier said. "If we can make it through that, we can do anything.

Students who graduate from the ROTC progaram are commissioned as officers. Most will end up serving in the Army National Guard or Reserve. Meier hopes be be assigned to active duty.

The ROTC program at PSU has doubled in size since Johnson became the department chairperson. Johnson said enrollment last year was about 60 students. This year, he said, about 130 students are enrolled.

A few of the record setting Pittsburg State University students inspired by Mark's mentorship.
Lt. Col. Mark Johnson, right, chairman of the Pittsburg State University military science department, presents the National Championship trophy to PSU President Tom Bryant. The universtiy's ROTC program was honored for sending 52 students to summer Army ROTC camp at Fort Knox, KY, the most any school has ever sent to the intensive training camp.

The Collegio

Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg, KS
Thursday, September 9, 1999

ROTC Breaks Record

by Mark Schremmer

Lt. Col. Mark Johnson was presented an award Sept. 2 at the Overman Student Center in recognition of Pittsburg State University's Army ROTC national record for the number of students to attend ROTC Summer Camp. PSU sent 52 students, smashing California State-Fullerton's previous record of 25.

Johnson said he is very pleased with the record especially since PSU has never sent more than seven before and because the national average is only three students per university.

"We went out to the students and got the message out about this great opportunity," Johnson said.

The summer camp is made up entirely of college students and lasts 35 days. Ten hours of college credit are offered to all students who finish the camp. If the student chooses to sign a commitment after the camp then scholarships are available to the students who perform well and all will receive some assistance.

If the student does make a commitment they must serve in the Army either in the reserves or in active duty for three years after they graduate.

Leadership, motivation and confidence are all reasons that a student should want to enter this program according to Johnson.

Johnson said the camp offers many things to students.

"You can have money, direction and a four-year degree," he said.

Johnson expects attendance for next year's camp to be just as good.

"I kind of think we're going to break the record again," he said.

Mark emphatically makes a point—in typical Johnson style.
Lt. Col. Mark Johnson holding the National Championship trophy.