Gov. Noem honors SDSU ROTC members



Andrew Rasmussen, Reporter

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem joined the South Dakota State Army and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets in a ceremony of recognition for Governor’s Day. 

Gov. Noem visited SDSU Monday for the annual Governor’s Day event which has taken place every year since 1918 to recognize military veterans and ROTC members at South Dakota State.

 “It gives us an opportunity to recognize outstanding cadets and having the governor there handing out these awards is really great,” Lt. Col. Stephen E. Sewell said. 

President Barry Dunn presented the President’s Cup to Jacob Carlson of Air Force ROTC and Gov. Noem presented the Governor’s Cup to Erin Holdsclaw of Army ROTC.

Army ROTC officials, President Dunn and Gov. Noem gave words of encouragement and gratitude to ROTC students. 

 Gov. Noem, a 2011 SDSU graduate, spoke about influential leaders across the country who participated in ROTC programs and encouraged them to continue on the path they are on.

“We are raising leaders,” Gov. Noem said in her address. “You are participating in a program that has brought forth people that have been champions and have been successful in what they decide to put their hand to.” 

The two-hour recognition event was held in the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex and included an hour of speeches and awards followed by a reception in which cadets were able to mingle with the governor.

Awards are evaluated on a variety of factors including academic excellence, physical fitness and community involvement, according to Sewell.

“We appreciate them and I have their back. As commander in chief, I want them to know that I put a lot of thought and prayer into decisions I make that impact their lives,” Gov. Noem said.