COLLEGVILLE -- Members of the St. John's University, College of Saint Benedict and St. Cloud State University ROTC program will be getting a unique experience Thursday.

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Two UH-60 blackhawk helicopters will be landing on campus for cadets to explore, take pictures and even fly in as part of their class.

Lieutenant Colonel Steven Beard is the Professor of Military Science at St. John's. He says this is a rare opportunity for most army units let along an ROTC.

We want to inspire our cadets. This is an opportunity to open their eyes to the things that are out there, and to grow our partnership with the university and community. This is something unique that we can provide that maybe other university departments can't.

Beard says this is the first time the university and program's history a military helicopter will land on campus.

Major Uriah Watkins is an Assistant Professor of Military Science at St. John's. He says aviation is a big part of military operations and this opportunity will give their cadets some first hand exposure to what they will be working with in the future.

Aviation is seen as one of those premiere jobs in the military. It has great opportunities for growth within the military and outside of the military. A lot of cadets will use it as a stepping stone to further their career.

The community is invited to come see the helicopters up close, however only cadets and select member of the CSB/SJU community will be allowed to fly.

The helicopters will land in a field across from the St. John's Arboretum at around 4:00 p.m.

The Fighting Saints Battalion is the top ROTC program in the midwest. The program has roughly 130 cadets enrolled over the three campuses and produce about 23 graduates per year.

 

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