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Daniel Cole poses for photo during ROTC sandhurst competition practice

Daniel Cole

“The ROTC faculty and staff allows for the success of not only myself, but for all ROTC students. They are committed to ensuring that we become not only strong, successful leaders, but great students as well.”
Major: History, Minor in Military Sciences
Hometown: Fayetteville, North Carolina
Involvement: ROTC, History Honor Society Phi Alpha Theta, and APSU ROTC Ranger Challenge Team Captain

Every student has reasons for coming to Austin Peay State University. Some students come to get a quality education, some come for the affordable tuition, some want to experience campus life and get away from home, while others, like Daniel Cole, come because they want to better serve their country. Cole is a cadet in our APSU ROTC program, which has helped him create unforgettable memories over the past two years.

Daniel Cole walks with ROTC cadets during 2019 Sandhurst competition
Cole, center, competed with APSU ROTC in the 2019 Sandhurst competition, placing 8th of 16.

“The ROTC program has played a huge part in allowing me to grow as a leader. After we graduate, all students in the ROTC program will commission as officers and will be in charge of leading other soldiers in some capacity,” Cole said. “My cadre and peers constantly place me in positions that help me to thrive as a leader.”

Cole and his fellow ROTC members are preparing for this year’s Sandhurst Military Skills Competition at West Point in April 2020. However, Cole says they are changing their approach this time around.

“Last year we went into the competition blind, not really knowing how it worked, and the training preparation could have been dialed in better,” Cole said. “While that was no one’s fault, our team Coach Keith Colman, and I have evaluated last year’s shortcomings and formulated a process that should allow us to finish better than last year.”

Story continues below: Daniel Cole talks about his experience with the Sandhurst competition leading up to the contest in 2019.

The Austin Peay ROTC program was recently named one of the best in the nation, and Cole said he and his peers take pride in knowing that they had a hand in making this a reality.

“I think this achievement speaks volumes about the types of students the APSU ROTC has. Every single one of our cadets gives it their all, and they strive to be better every day. Whether it’s academics, physical training or leadership, we are always pushing ourselves to be better.”

Cole is attending Austin Peay because of the Army’s Green to Gold active-duty option program, which allows enlisted soldiers to complete a baccalaureate degree or two-year graduate degree while earning a commission as an Army officer. Cole is a sergeant first class set to graduate and commission this May.

“The APSU ROTC program encourages strong bonds and camaraderie. We challenge ourselves in many ways that we may not have known were even possible,” he said. “The leadership skills you learn will be something that you can use for the rest of your life. And if you decide to join, you’ll be part of one of the top ROTC programs in the country, and will be on your way to becoming an officer in the United States Army.”

ROTC cadets practice for Sandhurst competition
APSU Ranger Challenge team prep for second Sandhurst competition
Team looks to improve on previous year with increased trainingRead more