As the new officer in charge for the U.S. Army ROTC program at Arkansas Tech University, Capt. Larry Boggs plans to prioritize practical experience and knowledge for the cadets under his command.
“I want to show them what it’s actually like to be a lieutenant your first two years in the Army,” said Boggs, who holds the academic rank of assistant professor of military science. “ROTC gives you a broad scope of everything the Army is. As a lieutenant, you need to know how to take your troops out to the field, how to train your troops and how to do basic tactics. That’s what their NCOs (non-commissioned officers) are going to look for in them as a young lieutenant…how tactically sound are you, and can you move your troops from assembly area to ambush site? We want to make sure that when they get to a unit they know how to take care of soldiers and how to move tactically.”
Boggs previously served at Fort Bragg (N.C.). As his time there was drawing to a close, he was provided with a list of 30-to-40 potential assignments for the next step in his Army career. He chose to pursue and ultimately attained the opportunity at ATU.
“I love the Army,” said Boggs. “The Army has given me a great opportunity in life. I came from a blue-collar family background. I’ve enjoyed every bit of my 12 years. It’s given me and my family a lot of opportunity.”
Boggs enlisted in the U.S. Army after two years as a student at the University of South Carolina. He commissioned through the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School and went on to gain additional military schooling in disciplines such as combat, military police, air assault, airborne, anti-terrorism and unit movement.
A veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, Boggs’ military decorations and badges include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
He completed his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice through Ashford University and earned a Master of Arts degree in business and organization security management from Webster University.
Boggs said he hopes to be a positive influence on the young people he instructs and leads at Arkansas Tech regardless of their career path after graduation.
“The leadership and managerial skills you learn from the Army apply to pretty much any job,” said Boggs. “I have buddies who have gotten out, gone to work for Amazon and they’re making over six figures. People look for that because the Army teaches that. They put you in stressful situations, sometimes with limited resources, and you have to learn how to solve problems. The leadership skills and development you get from the Army definitely put you ahead of your peers.”
Founded in 1952, the U.S. Army ROTC program at ATU is located at 1508 N. Boulder Ave. in Russellville. Students who complete the program are eligible to pursue a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army following graduation.
Seven Arkansas Tech ROTC program graduates have earned the rank of General officer in the U.S. Army: Major General Ronald S. Chastain, Major General Harley C. Davis, Brigadier General Gracus K. Dunn, Major General William E. Harmon, Major General Gary W. Johnston, Brigadier General Larry Newman and Major General William Wofford.
Other honored ROTC graduates from Arkansas Tech include Congressman Steve A. Womack and two Department of Defense civilian General-officer-equivalent: Senior Executive Service Dalton R. Jones and Defense Intelligence Senior Level William H. Speer.
“Many others have reached the rank of Colonel,” noted Harmon, who has played an integral role in establishing and forwarding the ATU U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Honor. “Numerous ATU graduates have distinguished themselves in combat and service in defense of the nation.”
Learn more at www.atu.edu/rotc.