Morgan Smith is a native of Bristol, an East Tennessee State University sophomore, a criminal justice major and a U.S. Army ROTC Cadet. She was also on the ETSU ROTC team that won the Bold Warrior Competition at Fort Knox, Ky., last year, enabling them to go to the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition at West Point in the spring of 2013.
The tough Sandhurst competition began in 1967, when the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst presented a British officer’s sword to West Point to use as a prize to promote cadet excellence.
Smith says, “From the time we won the prerequisite to going to Sandhurst, until the moment we left for Sandhurst, we trained. Monday through Friday, we would do physical training in the mornings, then many evenings we would do skills training, with several weekend trips to prepare us physically and mentally.”
Each Sandhurst team must have a female cadet. Smith was that cadet for the ETSU team, and she found the experience both challenging and rewarding.
Smith adds, “Going to Sandhurst was one of the most remarkable events I’ve experienced. I could not have done it without my Battle Buddies in the Eddie Reed Ranger Challenge Company. And, of all the attending universities, we were the only one to have our university president attend. Also, we were the only team to have a ranger challenge team named after a fallen former cadet, Buc Battalion member Eddie Reed. His son and our ETSU president, Dr. Brian Noland, both accompanied us for the entire competition.”
Smith has a four-year ROTC scholarship and an Academic Performance Scholarship with work placement in the Military Science Department. She plans to be a 20-year career officer, probably as a helicopter pilot or in military intelligence.Smith seems well on her way to a successful future. She says, “I feel that my experiences in the Buc Battalion and Eddie Reed Ranger Company have already shaped my character and will continue to build me into the officer I aspire to be.”