IU student awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement ROTC Award
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington student Aryn Morrison has been awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement ROTC Award, one of the top recognitions for ROTC cadets in the nation.
Morrison was presented with the award by Maj. Gen. Ross Ridge during a special IU Reserve Officers' Training Corps dinner Nov. 19 in the Indiana Memorial Union Tudor Room.
The Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement ROTC Award is a national award given annually by the Legion of Valor of the United States of America to cadets who demonstrate scholastic excellence in military and academic subjects.
“I feel extremely honored to receive this award,” Morrison said. “I have definitely worked very hard my four years here, and this award is a recognition for all the hard work I’ve done.”
Morrison, a senior studying kinesiology at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, is the top cadet in her class on IU ROTC’s merit list, which takes into account mostly academics but also leadership and physical fitness.
“As a student within our school of approximately 2,300 majors, Aryn's name is highly recognizable amongst the faculty as someone dedicated to do her absolute best in all aspects of her life,” read her nomination letter submitted by John Schrader, assistant dean for student academic affairs at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. “Her past five semesters have been nearly flawless with a 3.9+ GPA. She is a model student and frequently reaches out to faculty for greater challenges in order to improve herself.”
“Aryn is everything I expect a leader and an Army officer to be: smart, mentally agile and mentally tough, physically fit, a critical thinker who is a humble, self-aware and selfless team player,” said Lt. Col. Tim Hoch, commander and professor of military science with the IU Army ROTC. “Most impressive is her character. She is morally and ethically straight and candid and truthful. She possesses the intellect, skills, fitness, confidence and character to lead American soldiers, and I'm proud that she is representing IU with this award.”
Morrison decided to join the ROTC after plans to play collegiate soccer were sidetracked because of an injury. During her time at IU, Morrison served as the only female member of IU’s Ranger Challenge team for three years; studied in Russia her junior year; trained with special forces in Slovakia during the summer of 2015; and has won numerous honors including the Sons of the American Revolution Award, the Reserve Officers of America Award and the Gold German Armed Forces Badge of Military Proficiency.
“Being a part of IU’s ROTC has been a great experience,” Morrison said. “It introduces you to great people who have big goals, so in turn you set big goals for yourself. Plus our cadre are incredible; whether you have a personal or professional problem, they put everything into helping you. I have a home away from home here.”
Morrison will graduate in the spring and will attend flight school in Alabama as part of the Army Reserves to become a reserve helicopter pilot. She then will be stationed in Texas, where she will attend an accelerated nursing program at Texas A&M. She hopes to one day work as a nurse practitioner in pediatrics.
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