Penn College ROTC cadet honored for performance

Published 10.25.2019

Building Construction
Student News
Construction & Architecture

An Army ROTC cadet from Pennsylvania College of Technology distinguished himself with an exemplary performance at a key training and evaluation event and by participating in a selective overseas training mission.

Austin S. Weinrich, of Jenkintown, who is seeking a bachelor’s degree in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration, earned the RECONDO badge for displaying superior skills at Advanced Camp, considered ROTC’s most significant training experience.

Held at Fort Knox, Kentucky, the 37-day camp challenges cadets to demonstrate proficiency in basic officer leadership tasks at squad and platoon levels through five phases; ranging from reception, staging and onward movement to redeployment and reintegration. Successful completion is required for commissioning.

Penn College Army ROTC cadet Austin S. Weinrich (right), of Jenkintown, receives the RECONDO badge for displaying superior skills at Advanced Camp. Held at Fort Knox, Ky., Advanced Camp is considered ROTC’s most significant training experience. Weinrich was one of 14 cadets out of approximately 600 in the 4th Regiment to receive the RECONDO Badge. Presenting the RECONDO badge is Brig. Gen. Antonio V. Munera. “Every day I was faced with a new problem, and as a leader, I quickly discovered that it was my duty to be the all-around problem solver,” Weinrich said. “Overall, my Advanced Camp experience revealed to me that I want to be challenged in my future career and that I want to be assigned to the difficult tasks because I am confident in my abilities as a leader and problem solver.”

Weinrich was one of 14 cadets out of approximately 600 in the 4th Regiment at Advanced Camp to receive the RECONDO badge. For that honor, cadets must exceed standards in several categories; including the Army’s physical fitness test, confidence courses, 6-mile foot march, and training in land navigation, first aid and rifle marksmanship.

“The honor has motivated me further to train my fellow cadets in our ROTC program on a level that will allow them to achieve the RECONDO badge during their time at Advanced Camp,” he said.

Weinrich’s summer also included participation in the Cadet Coalition Warfighter Program, an initiative that immerses cadets in another country’s culture and military. Annually, about 1,000 cadets are chosen for the competitive program and dispersed to 20-plus countries.

Weinrich spent 21 days in Uzbekistan, a former republic of the Soviet Union located in Central Asia.

Weinrich (front left) experiences a T-64 Soviet main battle tank during his 21-day stay in Uzbekistan. Weinrich was in the former Soviet republic as part of the Cadet Coalition Warfighter Program. To the right of Weinrich is a cadet from the University of Mississippi. Behind them is a Uzbek cadet training to become an infantry officer. “We traveled across the country to schools, military bases, historical sites, memorials and numerous other educational locations, which taught my team invaluable lessons about culture and leadership,” Weinrich said. “We spent nearly every day with Uzbekistan cadets, exchanging knowledge of country and military experience.

“I was able to see firsthand the impact the United States and the U.S. military has on foreign soil, as well as how deploying with the U.S. Army operates. I will use all the lessons learned this summer to advance and develop my own skills in my future career as an Army officer.”

A Dean’s List student at Penn College, Weinrich is a member of the college’s NCAA Division III cross-country team. He has been inducted into two honor societies: Chi Alpha Sigma for elite student-athletes and Alpha Chi for the top 10% of junior and senior classes. Weinrich is a past officer for the Student Government Association and the Penn College Construction Association.

Weinrich (left) pauses with Penn State cadet Steve Yerina during a 10,000-foot hike up a mountain range in Northeast Uzbekistan. “We are proud of all of our ROTC cadets, and Austin’s accomplishments certainly stand out,”  said Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management and associate provost at Penn College. “Earning the RECONDO badge and being selected for the Cadet Coalition Warfighting Program are indicative of his tremendous dedication and talent. He has set an outstanding example of high achievement for both current and future cadets.

Last year, Weinrich received an Army ROTC scholarship, which covers tuition and provides a monthly stipend and book allowance.

Besides their regular college activities and courses, ROTC cadets take classes on military science and leadership and engage in physical training three days a week in order to meet conditioning requirements.  Each semester also includes a field training exercise.

Upon graduation, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants and embark on specialized training in their first Army branch. They commit to four years of active duty or eight years in the Army Reserve or National Guard.

Weinrich plans to choose active duty and become an engineer officer.

The Penn College Army ROTC program is part of the Bald Eagle Battalion, headquartered at Lock Haven University. Other members of the battalion are Lycoming College and Lock Haven and Mansfield universities.

For information on ROTC at Penn College, send email.

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education. Email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.