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When the Army prepared for the Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations in the Middle East, Baratz was the first person called back into service, as deputy commanding general of Forces Command to run the Reserve Mobilization. After that, he returned to active duty and was selected as chief of the Army Reserve. "I have 42 years of commissioned service," Baratz says. "I am the oldest serving general officer on active duty in age, time, and grade as a major general."|
Being in the Reserves allowed Baratz to pursue two careers and to serve his country at the same time. "My father always told me that democracy is not self-perpetuating," he says. "When I had time to go back to the Army, I did, because I felt I owed that for everything they've done for me. And ROTC at SU was where it all started."
Brig. Gen. Franklin "Judd" Blaisdell, a 1971 graduate of The College of Arts and Sciences, is commander of the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His command includes 50 units and 40 squadrons in 10 foreign countries and 14 time zones, geographically and organizationally the largest wing in the United States Air Force. The units are responsible for missile warning and space control systems worldwide.
Blaisdell was an ROTC student at SU during the turbulent Vietnam War years in the late 1960s and early 1970s. "It was a little sporty then, wearing your uniform on the Syracuse campus," Blaisdell says. "In 1970, we invited Richard Nixon to speak and that's when SU had all the riots and everything. The campus shut down. I was there with several of my classmates, paired with the Army ROTCs and the stumpies from the forestry school and we had ax handles and two-by-fours because the rioters were threatening to burn down the men's gym. But we prevented that."Blaisdell recalls many lessons learned from his ROTC advisors at the time. "The detachment at Syracuse University served me well," he says. "I learned leadership up close and personal from some folks who had been in Vietnam, such as taking care of business today, never walking by a mistake, being the one to set a new standard. Those kinds of things stayed with me."
Being in the Air Force ROTC made Syracuse University seem a little smaller and more friendly to Ben Brattebo '01, an environmental engineering student at the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science. "ROTC brings a group of people together with a common interest," Brattebo says. "It builds a team with good friends, good people that you can trust. It's a big help for a freshman to know such a great group of people."
Brattebo cites the support of the upperclassmen as one of the major benefits to being in the ROTC. He also notes that the ROTC does not have the "in-your-face" discipline he feels is so much a part of the military school experience. "It is a military training environment, where there is higher ranking with discipline and courtesies that have to be followed," he says. "But it's not a situation where if you mess up, they'll yell at you. They will correct you, that's necessary. We're there to learn. The upperclassmen are more like mentors, they can help you out or answer your questions."
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