On Dec. 12, Colonel Twala Mathis, commander of the Second ROTC Brigade, U.S. Army Cadet Command, spent the day with the Royal Warrior Battalion, one of 41 Army ROTC programs she commands across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New England. Colonel Mathis kicked off her day with the Military Science Department by receiving a series of briefings from Military Science Level III and IV cadets. Cadets covered a wide range of topics in order to provide Colonel Mathis insight into how the unit trains, mentors and develops cadets in the Military Science program at Scranton.
Cadet Battalion Commander Jessica Persoon ’13, along with Cadet Command Sergeant Major Sean Cogan ’13, opened the briefing with a overview of the program and academic degree programs, as well as some of the athletic and student organizations cadets participate in outside of ROTC.
Military Science Level IV Cadet Jennifer Bullis '13 shared with Colonel Mathis the challenges of being a nursing major and Army ROTC cadet, as well as the very strong relationship that exists between the Nursing Department and ROTC. Additionally, Cadet Bullis explained her personal experiences and lessons learned while taking part in the Nurse Summer Training Program in August at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.
“Today’s briefing with COL Mathis was great,” said Military Science Level III Cadet Hope Oliver '14. “The cadets of the Royal Warrior Battalion got an opportunity to share all the great experiences and activities we have been fortunate enough to participate in. This was also a great opportunity for us as cadets to practice our briefing skills in front of a superior officer.”
“I really enjoyed COL Mathis' visit,” added Cadet Bullis. “She offers a great perspective of our program. She reminds us of our strengths and gives us insight on how to improve our weaknesses. She had a lot of positive things to say about our program, which I really appreciated. Our cadre and cadets work hard to make our program what it is and it is nice to have someone else recognize that hard work. She also serves as a great role model for cadets in our battalion.”
During the course of the day, Colonel Mathis had the opportunity to engage with University staff and faculty to hear their assessment of the Military Science program. Among those individuals Colonel Mathis met with were Anitra McShea, Ph.D., assistant vice president of student Affairs and dean of students, Lauren Rivera, J.D., director of student conduct and assessment, student affairs, and Kim Pavlik, Ph.D., from the Communications Department and a member of the University’s ROTC advisory committee. Colonel Mathis expressed her appreciate to staff and faculty for the tremendous support the University provides to the cadets and cadre.
Later in the afternoon, Colonel Mathis met with cadets from across all Military Science levels in order to learn what issues or concerns that the cadets had. She touched on a number of areas with cadets ranging from command climate to training opportunities.
Colonel Mathis assumed command of the Second ROTC Brigade headquartered at Fort Dix, N.J., in July 2011. She holds degrees from Albany State University and Webster University and earned her commission as a military intelligence officer through Army ROTC. Colonel Mathis is a graduate of the National War College in Washington, D.C., as well as a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course and Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course. She has deployed in support of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, operations in Kosovo, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi.