OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - An Army ROTC cadet from Ole Miss earned an honor at Fort Knox, Kentucky over the summer in which 200 other cadets from across the nation were also up against.
"Basic camp was just an intro into ROTC and a basic understanding of what the Army core values were and what they stood for," Matthew Schulman said. Schulman is going into his senior year at Ole Miss.
Schulman spent part of his summer at Fort Knox and it was near the end of his time there when his drill sergeant told him he had good news and bad news.
"He said well you're going to be in charge of about 250 to 300 cadets," Schulman said. "And I was like well that sounds like good news. So I was excited and he told me I was going to be the Commander of Troops for the graduation ceremony."
"It is a great honor for Cadet Schulman as well as individually, but it goes beyond individual recognition because you know we are all part of a team," Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Taylor said. Taylor is the Professor of Military Science and Department Chair for the Army ROTC program at Ole Miss.
Taylor along with other cadre members said Schulman has natural abilities that set him apart from other cadets.
In three words, Sergeant Anthony Douglas said Schulman is "dependable, reliable, responsible." Douglas is the National Guard recruiter for the Army ROTC program at Ole Miss.
Although classes begin Monday, the Army ROTC program has already begun training its freshmen class to become leaders like Schulman.
For the last week, upper-class cadets have been working with freshmen cadets and preparing them for the new school year.
On Thursday, freshmen cadets took their first physical test.
"It was really cool to see how I was my first week and just how excited they are," Logan Kirkman, a sophomore cadet, said.
"I really want to serve the United States Army so I felt like this was the best fit for me," Alexa Brown, a freshman cadet, said.
"This new class has the most potential of any in the past three or four years," Douglas said.