It is a critical time for TCU’s Army ROTC program—the military is downsizing and active-duty positions are more competitive. Yet America still needs leaders in uniform and in civilian life. The Horned Frog Battalion answers the call.
by Rick Waters '95
TCU Army ROTC cadets regroup to discuss a ruck march training exercise in Trinity Park. (Photography by Glen E. Ellman)
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by Rick Waters '95
The question hung in the air as an uncomfortable silence filled the room: What defines a good leader?
Col. Christopher Talcott, the ranking cadre member of TCU’s Army ROTC program since 2010, waited for the class to answer. Seated around him were seniors—Military Science 4 cadets—who would commission as second lieutenants in a matter of months. Everything they had studied, everything they had learned and all the training they had received was designed to give them the answer.
One hand went up slowly. Then another. Responses started coming: Good leaders are aware of circumstances and surroundings. They possess good character. They lead and can be led. They think short term and long term. They have a vision. They communicate their plan. They allow time to adjust the plan. They are competent. They relate to the people in their charge. Good leaders get the job done.
The corners of Talcott’s mouth crept to a slight smile.
“Mission first, people always,” he said. “That’s what leaders do. They check to make sure everyone is set up for success.”
For 63 years, cadre like Talcott of TCU’s Army ROTC have prepared leaders for combat and community. From November to June, The TCU Magazine shadowed the Horned Frog Battalion. Meet some of tomorrow’s leaders.
Jarrod McClendon – The Determined “Lost Soul”
2nd Lt. Bobby Murray ’12 – The Neeley Grad
Paul Cheng – The Prepared Nurse
Jamie Dowd – The Student-Athlete
2nd Lt. Matthew Hammerle – The Family Man
2nd Lt. Desiree Ortiz ’14 – The Social Justic Warrior
Ruth Tusi – The Reciprocator of Kindness
Tyler Styles – The Global Citizen
Justin Agnew – The Ex-Football Player
2nd Lt. James Liu ’14 – The American Son
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TCU ROTC: A timeline
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The award-winning sports writer made his name writing for Sports Illustrated and Golf Digest, and his books include Semi-Tough, which became a movie.