University student awarded ROTC honor

BY IAN WEIR
NEWS CORRESPONDENT

Cadet Christian Burne, the cadet battalion commander of The University’s Royal Warrior Army ROTC Battalion, was presented with the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement in a special ceremony after battalion physical training Sept. 11.

Burne, who is also the Student Government vice president, competed with nearly 5,800 other third-year cadets to become one of only seven cadets across the U.S. Army Cadet Command to win the award. Burne is a third-generation University student and the first University cadet to receive this honor.

The award, which is presented to outstanding cadets in the nation’s Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC programs, is given by the Order of the Legion of Valor, Inc. to students who demonstrate superior performance in their military, academic and civic responsibilities. Candidates are selected by their individual professors of military science for evaluation, are evaluated at the regional brigade level and eventually are submitted to Cadet Command as candidates for the award. Burne is the winner for the 2nd ROTC Brigade, beating out students from schools like Princeton, Cornell and MIT.

Initially, Burne did not know he was being considered for such a prestigious award.

“I knew I was submitted for an award,” Burne said, “but I was never told what it was.”

In fact, even after he was informed that he had won, he did not understand the magnitude of the recognition until he received an email from professor of military science Lt. Col. Ryan Remley describing the award and what it meant.

But a look at Burne’s record both academically and militarily leaves little doubt as to why he was selected. A triple major in international studies, political science and philosophy, he is also triple minoring in Spanish, Arabic and leadership. Burne is active in Student Government, The University’s crew team and several other University programs. He has been a member of the Royal Warrior Battalion’s Ranger Challenge team for four years and has participated in the Army 10-miler twice. He has also served with various leadership positions within the battalion throughout his ROTC career, culminating with his current role as Cadet Battalion Commander.

Burne, however, remains humble.

“To me, it is a testament to the strength of the Royal Warrior Battalion and of the academics here at Scranton. Obviously, yes, it was a lot of individual work. However, none of it was possible without a lot of help from cadre, from professors and from fellow students and classmates,” Burne said.

Remley is more willing to offer praise.

“Burne ranks in the top three cadets I have seen not only in my years as professor of military science, but also as an assistant professor of military science when I was a captain,” Remley said.

Remley went on to talk about how winning this award demonstrates Burne’s commitment as a leader both in his military responsibilities and as a student and member of a community. Remley said Burne truly leads by example and that there is nothing more Remley could ask of him as a cadet.

“This is a great honor for Cadet Burne, it’s a great honor for the Royal Warrior Battalion and the University of Scranton, and I can’t think of anyone better to represent the 2nd ROTC brigade as a whole. I congratulate him on a job well done,” Remley said.

Contact the writer: ian.weir@scranton.edu

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