Sun Devil salute: 10 facts about the military at ASU

Pinning ceremony for naval cadet's transition to officer

The Pat Tillman Foundation invests in military veterans and their spouses through educational scholarships – building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others. There are more than 347 scholars across the U.S., including students at ASU.
Photo by: Tom Story


ASU has a long and proud history with the military, from strong academics to support services.

Through the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, ASU staff helps veterans, military members and their dependents manage their GI Bill benefits. Student advisers can also match military training with course credits and assist students as they apply for scholarships or other support.  

More facts to know about veterans, ROTC and the military at ASU:  

1. We are home to one of the oldest Army ROTC programs in the nation.

Arizona State University has a proud history of embracing our nation’s veterans, their families and those who continue to serve on active duty, in the National Guard or reserves. AROTC was established in 1935. Air Force ROTC was established in 1948 and our Navy and Marine Corps ROTC in 2010. We are home to 500 ROTC cadets.

2. We offer some of the top language training in the U.S. for ROTC.

The Critical Languages Institute in the Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies offers intensive training in Armenian, Russian, Bosnian and 12 other lesser-known languages. The ASU center also supports ROTC-specific training through Project Go, a summer program in Persian, Russian, Turkish and Uzbek.

A pilot program for ROTC students is also part of ASU’s Chinese Language Flagship Program through the School of International Letters and Cultures. The flagship’s undergraduate programs provide intensive, professional-level proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and study abroad. 

3. We recognize military, veterans and their families annually with a two-week “Salute to Service” celebration.

The ASU community is invited to attend all of the Salute to Service events, which include military appreciation football and basketball games, performances, faculty and staff training, panel discussions and activities sponsored by student clubs.

4. ASU has benefits tailored to meet ROTC and service member’s needs:

• The Pat Tillman Veterans Center is the focal point for veterans to access benefits, transition to university life and get assistance on a wide range of topics.

• The Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement helps integrate veterans into scholastic life and serves as platform to capture their voices on range of topics.

• ASU accepts credits earned through military courses or training, has offered in-state tuition for honorably discharged veterans since 2011 and provides priority registration.

• Scholarships include ASU’s Veterans Education Fund, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Tillman Military Scholars, ROTC and more.

• Veterans Upward Bound Program helps low-income or first-generation vets improve academic skills through free, federally funded prep courses.

5. The College of Public Service and Community Solutions has the highest percentage of veterans at ASU. 

Although the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering enrolls the most veterans and service members, followed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Service and Community Solutions has the highest percentage of veterans, topping 9.5 percent. ASU is also working to advance civilian-military collaborations through the new Public Service Academy, promoting public service while developing cross-sector leadership skills. 

6. Our researchers are contributing to national defense and military technology.

Our faculty members submitted $96.4 million in proposals to the Department of Defense and received $37 million in award obligations in 2014. Key projects have included the establishment of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict (to understand root causes of conflict), and the Flexible Display Center (development of cutting-edge electronics).

7. ASU has a new Center for Veterans' Wellness to support and treat battle trauma/PTSD.

Led by inaugural director Mary Davis, an ASU pyschology professor, the center draws together experts from a variety of disciplines across the university and its partner organizations to expand their work and develop new ideas. The center will build national visibility for research and treatment advances, bringing in scientists who have an accomplished record in veterans’ health research.

8. We are widely and consistently recognized as a veteran-focused school.

ASU was recently ranked among the top schools in the nation for Best Online Programs for Veterans by U.S. News. The university has also been named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine each year from 2010 to 2015.

9. We present graduating veterans with honor stoles to recognize their service and status as veterans.

10. We are home to a Veterans ASU Alumni Chapter. How many of our notable military alums do you recognize?

• Allan McArtor: ’71 M.S.E., former Air Force fighter pilot and Vietnam veteran, chairman and CEO of Airbus Group and former administrator of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration

• Barry Bruner: ’80 B.S., retired Navy rear admiral, commanded Submarine Group 10, Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, Georgia

• Daniel Yoo: ’84 B.S., Marine Corps, commanding general Marine Corps Recruit Depot

• John Goodman: ’71 B.S., retired Marine lieutenant general, commanded Marine Forces Pacific and served as director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance

• John Kenyon: ’85 B.S., retired Coast Guard captain, former commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Activities Europe

• Margaret Woodward: ’82 B.S., retired Air Force major general, commanded air forces during Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya

• Mark “Marshal” Dillon: ’83 B.S., retired Air Force brigadier general, former commander of the 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany

• Pat Tillman: ’97 B.S., former Army corporal, star ASU and Arizona Cardinals football player

• Ronald “Ron” Shoopman: ’72 B.S., retired Air Force brigadier general, president of Southern Arizona Leadership Council

• Ryan Cleckner: ’08 B.S., former Army Ranger sniper, veterans activist and vice president at Remington Outdoor Company

• Vern “Rusty” Findley: ’76 B.S.,  retired Air Force lieutenant general, former vice commander Air Force Air Mobility Command

• Victor Petrenko: ’83 B.S., Army brigadier general, former deputy commanding general and chief of staff for U.S. Army Accessions Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky

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