UNM ROTC Units Bring Back Commander's Cup

March 19, 2019 - Dorene DINaro

Until a few years ago, the Commander's Cup was a long-standing tradition for the UNM ROTC units—a friendly competition between cadets from all three military branches housed on the UNM campus.  Luckily for us, the units—Air Force, Army, and Navy/Marine—have come together to end the hiatus and are going to be competing once again. 

 “The goal of the event is to get our future military leaders working together and engender a bit of espirit de corps and friendly competition,” says Professor of Military Science and Army ROTC Commander, LTC Alissa A. McKaig.

 The event begins on Friday, March 22 at 4 p.m. with an opening ceremony and flag football game on Johnson Field, and culminates with Field Day at the same location on Friday, March 29, at 3 p.m. with a combat relay race, BBQ, and closing ceremony.  The winners of the competition not only have bragging rights, but also get to house the coveted “Commander’s Cup” trophy in their unit—a trophy which currently resides in Navy Headquarters.  Other events include a dodgeball game in Johnson Gym on Tuesday, March 26, at 5:30 p.m., and a physical fitness test on Wednesday, March 27, in front of the Navy/Marine building at 6:15 a.m. 

Three of the competing cadets, David Dukes, Owen Marx, and Tom Hanlon talked to Dr. Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, vice president for Student Affairs about what the events mean to them. 

 “It’s a friendly competition between all three branches and since we’ll be working together throughout our years in service, this event introduces a sense of competition between the ROTC units,” says Marx. 

 Hanlon remarks that the Commanders Cup is similar to true military service in that it reflects the increased joint operations that the branches of military currently engage in. 

 Although all events are open to the public, spectators are especially encouraged to attend the Field Day event on Friday, March 29, and cheer on their favorite unit.  As for predictions on who’s going to win? Dukes says he thinks the Army might take it, and although that was a popular consensus among the three cadets, it’s really anybody’s guess. 

 For more information on the UNM ROTC units, please visit their respective websites:  UNM Air Force ROTC, UNM Army ROTC, UNM Navy/Marine ROTC