ROTC Cadet Mason Nielsen Receives Governor's Award

ROTC Cadet Mason Nielsen Receives Governor's Award

ROTC Cadet Mason Nielsen Receives Governor's Award
From left: LTC Richard F. Smith, Professor of Military Science, Iowa State University; Governor Terry E. Branstad; CDT Mason Nielsen; Major General Timothy Orr, Adjutant General for Iowa Army National Guard.

Buena Vista University ROTC Cadet Mason Nielsen, a senior exercise science major from Central City, received the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Governor's ROTC Award for outstanding achievement from Iowa Governor Terry Branstad in a ceremony on April 9.

The award recipients are chosen by the Iowa State University Professor of Military Science, and the award recognizes ROTC members for academic, athletic and leadership accomplishments.

"I am honored to receive this award, and it means a lot to know that I was chosen from the cadets here at Buena Vista University," said Nielsen. "It was also a privilege to meet our Governor as well as my local representative for Linn County, and to meet all the other Cadets that were honored to receive this award throughout Iowa and hear about their accomplishments."

Cadet Nielson was chosen to receive the award based on his accomplishments on the BVU football field as a three-year starter and defensive player of the week, and for his performance at Leadership Development Assessment Camp (LDAC) in summer of 2013 at Ft. Lewis, Wash. While there, he scored an overall ranking of excellence, which means he was in top one-third of all cadets in the nation, and he was rated fifth best in his platoon of 44 cadets.

"We are all very proud of Mason's accomplishments," says CPT Thomas Gorman, assistant professor of military science and officer in charge for BVU's ROTC program. "His excellence in athletics, his performance in the classroom and demonstrated leadership qualities represent exactly the type of student we want at BVU Army ROTC."

As one of the newest Army ROTC Departments in the country, BVU ROTC cadets are part of the "host" Cyclone Battalion in Ames, which includes students from Iowa State University, Drake University and Grand View College.