Category: News

Cadet Wallach AUSA Saber Award Winner

Cadet Mark Wallach

Please join us in congratulating Cadet Mark Wallach for being selected as the winner of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Saber Award. Cadet Wallach would have received this award at the Greater Michigan Awards Ceremony and Banquet in Troy, MI this evening. He was one of seven cadets from the seven Army ROTC programs in Michigan to be nominated for the award, meaning that he is the #1 cadet overall in the State of Michigan. According to BG(R) Montjar, who would have been presiding the event, Cadet Wallach is the first Michigan Tech cadet to receive this award!

Congratulations again to Cadet Wallach for Leading the Pack!

Cadets Participate in Norwegian Foot March

Cadets Newell, Grulke, Maxey, Allen, Stelmaszek, Wittkopf and Catron pose for photo before the Norwegian Foot March
MTU Army ROTC cadets participate in the Norwegian Foot March

Over Thanksgiving break we had seven cadets (Newell, Grulke, Maxey, Allen, Stelmaszek, Wittkopf, and Catron) attend the Norwegian Foot March at Adren Hills Army Training Site, Minnesota.  It is a 30 KM/18.6 Mile march. Each participant carries  a 11 KG/25 Lbs ruck packed with nonperishable food and hygiene items that are donated to those in need at the end of the march.  All seven cadets passed the standard for the Norwegian Foot March and they all earned the bronze Marsjmerket badge. CDTs Grulke took 23 and Maxey took 24 out of 260. Good job Arctic Warriors!

Alumni Kevin Erkkila Featured in Midland Daily News on Deployment to Middle East

Kevin Erkkila during Commissioning Ceremony at 2015 Commencement.

Michigan Tech alumnus Kevin Erkkila ’15, was featured in the article “Midland Remembers First Lieutenant Kevin Erkkila, Operation Inherent Resolve in the Middle East,” in the Midland Daily News. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Erkkila completed the Army ROTC program at Michigan Tech and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army upon graduation. Erkkila is currently deployed in the Middle East serving as an engineering officer with the 3-21 Infantry Division.

Errkila’s story is part of the “Midland Remembers” series this November in the Midland Daily News. The series shares stories of veterans with ties to Midland, Michigan.

As some of you already know, my unit has been selected to deploy in support of Operation Inherent Resolve overseas in the Middle East. Because of this, I’ll be leaving the country for several months here shortly. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve my country. The Army has taken care of me for the last four years and I’m excited to see where the next adventure leads. Once I get overseas and have an address, I’ll share that and additional information with those who want it. Thank you all for your love and support. See you next year! –Kevin Erkkila

3rd Annual Justin Fitch Memorial Ruck

Justin Fitch holding a veterans patchSaturday, October 6th we honored American Hero Justin Fitch at this year’s Third Annual Justin Fitch Memorial Ruck, at the Chutes and Ladders Pavilion in Houghton’s Kestner Park. The official ceremony began at approximately 2:30pm. Immediately following the event, there was a cookout. Faculty, staff, students and community members attended the event. Additionally, Lt. Col. Christian A. Thompson, Army ROTC 1st Battalion, 107th Engineers, assisted in a dedication ceremony for a memorial that has been placed on the ROTC front lawn in honor of Fitch.

I have had the privilege of overseeing this event the last three years and I continue to be amazed at the way our community has come together to support this incredible cause. —Grant M Beatus

The Carry the Fallen Ruck March is a four-mile hike where participants can choose to carry a weighted pack to symbolize the struggles that veterans go through every day. Justin Fitch ’05, was a Michigan Tech grad who served as a major in the United States Army. Fitch led a ruck march to bring awareness to the fact that 22 veterans a day take their own lives.

Tragically, Justin was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer in May 2012. After being medically retired from the Army in 2015, he was determined to continue to fight for his brothers in arms. Despite chemotherapy treatments and numerous medical appointments, he fought and marched for his brothers until the day he passed away on October 4, 2015

In an effort to continue what Fitch called his “final mission,” we have teamed up with Active Heroes, a 501(c) (3) charity whose mission is to support all U.S. military service members, veterans and their families through physical, educational and emotional programs in an effort to eliminate suicide.

Husky Alpine Run

DSC_0047Are you up for a Halloween challenge? Come join the Michigan Tech Department of Military Science in our inaugural Husky Alpine Run on Oct. 27, which is a 5 km trail race on Mont Ripley. Don’t ski or snowboard? No worries. Many people enjoy skiing or snowboarding the slopes of Ripley and now you get to run them.  We encourage everyone to show up and run in their Halloween costume as prizes are awarded to the costume contest winner.

All racers will get complimentary food and beverages after the event and there will also be raffle prizes. The winners of each age group (male and female) will receive medals, and the overall male and female winners will get their names engraved on a plaque that will be posted in the Military Science building. Sign up now and get a free event t-shirt. Student registration is only $15.

We also want to give back to our community in Houghton and help fund road repairs caused by the devastating Father’s Day flooding. To do so, we will donate part of our proceeds to help fund flood relief efforts. Come out and have a fun time and help us support our community.

WWI Symposium Keynote Speakers

WW1CC logo with mineTwo speakers are featured this weekend with the WWI symposium “Armistice and Aftermath.”

John Morrow, Jr. (University of Georgia) will present “African American Experience in WWI and Aftermath” from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday (Sept. 28)in the Rozsa Lobby. Lynn Dumenil (Occidental College) will present “Women and the Great War” from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 29) in the MUB Ballroom. Both talks are free and open to the public.

Morrow’s talk will address how African Americans understood and participated in the war effort on the home and fighting fronts and how white Americans responded to their efforts. He will explore how the war affected race relations and the conditions of African American life in the postwar United States.

Dumenil’s talk will focus on popular culture images of women in World War I, especially the attention given to how American women challenged gender conventions. She will explore claims that the war transformed traditional gender roles as well as the persistent power of expectations about women’s traditional roles.

Morrow Jr. and Dumenil will be on campus all day Friday (Sept. 28). If you are interested in meeting with either of them, email

The visits have been supported by the Visiting Women and Minority Scholars program. The public lectures are part of “World War I in the Copper Country,” an extensive program of events and exhibits commemorating the WWI Armistice. Sponsors include Michigan Technological University Institutional Equity office, the Departments of Humanities, Social Sciences and Visual and Performing Arts, Finlandia University, the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw and the Michigan Humanities Council.

Armistice and Aftermath Symposium

WW1CC logo with mineThe WWI Armistice and Aftermath Symposium is a two-day event, Friday and Saturday (Sept. 28 and 29) that includes presentations, a film and concert, most on the Michigan Tech campus.

Armistice Day 2018 marks the centenary end of World War I. This symposium explores the conditions and impacts of the Great War as experienced during and afterward.

All events are open to the public and admission is free. The full program is available online. A box supper on Friday and a buffet lunch on Saturday are available for $5 and must be reserved in advance by no later than noon Wednesday (Sept. 26).

Friday’s events:

  • 4-5 p.m.: Sue Collins (HU) “Local Theaters, Propaganda and WWI.” Orpheum Theater, Hancock
  • 6-7 p.m.: Superior Wind Symphony, “Europe, America, and the World: An Outdoor Concert.” On Walker lawn if weather permits; otherwise McArdle Theatre
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m.: John Morrow Jr. (University of Georgia), “African American Experience in WWI and Aftermath.” Rozsa Lobby

Saturday’s events:

  • 8:45 a.m.: Symposium Committee Welcome, MUB Ballroom
  • 9-11:15 a.m.: Symposium Panels (see full program online)
  • 12-1 p.m.: Lynn Dumenil (Occidental College), “Women and the Great War.” MUB Ballroom
  • 1:15-3:45 p.m.: Symposium Panels
  • 7:30-9 p.m.: “Copper Country at the Silver Screen in 1918,” Rozsa Theater. A silent film program featuring a 1918 Charlie Chaplin film, film shorts, newsreel, and Four Minute-Man performance; music performed by Jay Warren, Chicago’s foremost Photoplay organist.