Maj. Robert Kirkland Ranked 2nd Among Nation’s ROTC Instructors

U.S. Army Maj. Robert Kirkland, assistant professor of military science and leadership for the ROTC program at CMC, has been ranked the No. 2 ROTC instructor in the countrypart of an honor awarded annually to the most outstanding ROTC instructors on the collegiate level, under the National Industrial Defense Association’s presentation of its Colonel Leo A. Codd Memorial Award.

Kirkland, who holds master’s and a doctorate degrees in Latin American history from the University of Pittsburgh, is an instructor of military science and leadership for freshmen and sophomore ROTC students, and also teaches a course on U.S. and comparative military systems for the College’s history department. Prior to his arrival last August, he was battalion operations officer for the 1st Battalion 37th Field Artillery, part of the first Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Ft. Lewis, Wash., deployed to Iraq from November 2003 to June 2004.

Kirkland said he was surprised to be selected from among the 272 senior ROTC programs nationwide, representing more than 1,000 instructors in the rank of Major and Captain. “The thought that I was deserving is so humbling because there are so many fine instructors across the country,” he says. “But I am certainly happy to bring recognition to the ROTC program at CMCwhat I consider to be one of the best programs in the U.S.”

“Rob’s intellectual capacity, organization skills, and his thirst for excellence are incredible,” said nominating officer Lt. Col. Jeff Douville, professor of military science and leadership. “His accomplishments are only overshadowed by his unswerving commitment to CMC students and cadets.”

Douville says enrollment in the ROTC program has risen since Kirkland’s arrival, and that class sizes for his military science courses have doubled.

Kirkland, who taught in the history department for the United States Military Academy, West Point, said it is “great to be a part of influencing our future military leaders.”

“We are really quite fortunate to have such an outstanding teacher and research scholar offering history courses here,” said Lisa Cody, associate professor and chair of the history department.

The Colonel Leo A. Codd Memorial Award recognizes outstanding ROTC instructors across the country as selected by the Army, Air Force and Navy. Recipients each receive a savings bond, certificate of recognition for outstanding performance, and a one-year membership to NDIA.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Claremont McKenna College the past six months,” Kirkland said. “It’s been a wonderful assignment for me and my family. I’ve been so impressed by everyone associated with the College.”