Two Belmont University nursing students participating in Vanderbilt’s Army ROTC program recently received two of the highest cadet rankings in the nation. Their rankings are based on their total experience as cadets, including academics, performance at strategic camps, leadership ability and more.
Cadet Lt.t Col. Amanda Barfield is the second-ranked nurse in the nation. She was the cadet battalion commander, the senior ranking cadet in the program, for the 2011-2012 academic school year. Cadet Capt. Jessica Sanders is the 12th-ranked nurse in the nation. She holds the position of Assistant Tactical Officer and is charged with the evaluation of junior cadets in the program. Both cadets also ranked very high on the overall National Order of Merit List, which ranks cadets from all schools and all majors. This year, the list was comprised of more than 5,500 cadets.
“Amanda and Jessica are both outstanding nursing students,” said Associate Dean of Nursing Belmont Nursing Students Recognized for Achievement in Army ROTC Program. “Their maturity, discipline, compassion and clinical competence are among the best we have seen. I am so proud of their national achievement in the ROTC program because I know they are competing with cadets from all academic majors and universities from across the country. Their ROTC training will prepare them to be the kind of change leaders that we need in our profession.”
Vanderbilt’s Go Gold Battalion is continually one of the most competitive and most selective officer-producing programs in the nation and, with Belmont University School of Nursing, has produced a number of highly successful nurses in recent years. Second Lt. Hannah Bienhoff, a 2009 Belmont graduate, was ranked as the highest nursing cadet in the country in 2008, while 2nd Lt. Shannon Ellrich, also a 2009 Belmont graduate, was the 5th-ranked nursing cadet.
The Go Gold Battalion is comprised of students from universities throughout the Nashville area, including Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb, Tennessee State and Trevecca Nazarene. The Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) provides pre-commission training for college-educated men and women who desire to serve as commissioned officers in the active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard. As the Army’s largest commissioning source, it fulfills a vital role in providing mature young men and women for leadership and management positions in an increasingly technological Army.