Excellence of Naval ROTC

The Department of Defense singled out Tulane University’s Navy ROTC Unit from the 496 colleges and universities that host ROTC units for the prestigious Department of Defense ROTC and Educational Institution Partnership Excellence Award.

In a letter to Tulane President Michael Fitts, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said, “Your outstanding support is crucial to the education and training of the finest military leaders in the world.”

Fitts said, “Tulane has a rich and proud history of supporting our Reserve Officers Training Corps, dating back to 1938, with the formation of the Tulane NROTC. This recognition is a wonderful honor for a special group of students, their commander and support staff, who exemplify the university’s call to service and elevate our mission of educating the leaders of tomorrow.”

Tulane’s Navy ROTC Unit in uniform gathers in the lobby of the Navy ROTC building on Freret Street on the uptown campus for a group photo.
Tulane’s Navy ROTC Unit gathers in the lobby of the Navy ROTC building on Freret Street on the uptown campus for a group photo in December 2021.

The Tulane NROTC is one of the oldest active NROTC Units in the nation and has commissioned over 2,150 Navy and Marine Corps Officers. Of those officers, 23 have died on active duty, serving in almost every conflict since World War II.

Among notable alumni are Gen. David Berger (E ’81), who became the 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps in 2019 and leads the nation’s expeditionary branch; Col. Douglas Hurley (E ’88), a career Marine Corps officer who became a NASA astronaut and served on a pair of space shuttle missions and was one of the first astronauts for U.S. commercial spaceflights, commanding the SpaceX Crew Dragon in May 2021; and Capt. Jennifer Wilderman (E ’94), a naval aviator who supported Operation Desert Fox, NATO operations in Kosovo and Operation Iraqi Freedom.