Niagara University's Purple Eagle Battalion was recognized with having the highest overall average grade-point average, highest average physical fitness score and highest average order of merit score during the U.S. Army Cadet Command 2nd Brigade Leader Conference, held Jan. 6-9.
The annual conference is the one time each year all 42 Reserve Officer Training Corps programs in the Northeast convene to discuss the future of their programs and acknowledge accomplishments.
Academics, physical fitness, evaluation of leadership potential and community involvement are the major categories that comprise a cadet's order of merit score.
The hard work of NU's senior class was evident, as 11 of 15 (73.3 percent) of its upperclassmen cadets received "active duty," which is well above the national average of 51 percent.
The program's success does not exist exclusively within the senior class, however. Niagara ROTC cadets earned an average GPA of 3.26 this past semester, with the sophomores leading the way with a 3.5 average. Overall, the program had 35 cadets make the dean's list.
NU's cadet sergeant major's comprehensive physical fitness plan also produced excellent results. As a battalion, NU had an overall Army physical fitness test average of 271, with its juniors leading the way with 281.
Niagara University's Army ROTC program is consistently ranked among the best in the country, previously garnering the No. 1 standing in the U.S. for recruitment, retention and quality of training in 2004; being named the No. 1 program in the Northeast in 2008; and achieving the highest average National Active Duty Accessions Board ranking in the Northeast for fiscal year 2013. In March, the Purple Eagle Battalion was one of eight nationwide to receive the MacArthur Award.