Alex Woody is a biblical studies major at the Baptist fundamentalist Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. He also is a senior, a spiritual life director and ROTC battalion commander — and one of America’s top 10 Army ROTC recruits.
Cadet Woody ranks No. 8 out of 4,702 cadets. The rankings — which consider several factors, including ROTC training, professor evaluations, extracurricular activities and grade-point average - are bestowed between a recruit’s junior and senior years.
“It’s a very complicated process,” said Liberty’s ROTC director, Maj. Robert Foy, who also is an assistant professor of military science. “The major component is GPA. Physical fitness is also important. Woody’s physical-fitness score is 344, which probably doesn’t mean much to most people, but that means that he did 89 push-ups, 100 sit-ups and ran two miles in 12:34.”
Cadet Woody has a 3.96 GPA.
A member of the ROTC’s Ranger Challenge team, he travels with teammates to compete against other college programs in marksmanship, physical fitness, road marches, obstacle courses, land navigation and other challenges.
The national recognition reflects well on Cadet Woody, Liberty and a generation of young people who are willingly serving a nation at war, Maj. Foy said.
“This generation of cadets fully understands we’re a nation at war, and they understand the risk involved, but they still volunteer to serve willingly, and they work hard,” he said. “In addition to being students and athletes and leaders on campus, they put a lot of time and effort into their ROTC responsibilities.”
Cadet Woody, who even as a youngster wanted to join the military, said he has always worked hard but the top-10 ranking surprised him.
“I knew I wanted to do well, because the ranking system affects what you do in the Army,” he said, “but I had no idea I would come out that high.”
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