The University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Department of Military Science celebrated their successful move into their new suite in the Health Enhancement Center at the beginning of the semester. They had previously been located in two different parts of the Student Services building.
"It is wonderful that we are all in one area," said Major Eric Beuerman. "We really are in the hub of everything now," referring to the fact that the new facilities are directly in the middle of campus.
"We are able to do drill and ceremony in the parking lots, and squad movements in the athletic fields. The amount of resources that are available now is fantastic for our needs. Plus it is just a lot easier for people to find us," Beuerman said.
Construction began last fall and was completed early spring semester. The department started the transition from their old offices over spring break but it was not until this summer that they were able to get settled into their new home.
The new facilities include a new classroom, a meeting room, ten-person classroom that can be used as a laboratory, a computer lab and offices for cadre and support facilities.
"Everyone is now in one spot," said Beuerman. Previously the department was divided in two different parts of the Student Services building, with some staff and support services divided from the other cadre. "We never really saw the students unless they specifically sought us out. Now we are able to see them all the time."
The program currently has 20 contracted cadets who have committed to commissioning upon completion of their training. They average about 10 commissionings each year, mixing between both active duty and reserve components of the army.
Maj. Beuerman said that aviation is a popular choice for cadets but that it is a very hard branch to get into. Some of the more popular branches as of late have been signal and military intelligence.
In addition to the contracted cadets, the program teaches a one credit introductory course that immerses students into military life. About 110 students participated in a field training exercise at Fort McCoy at the end of September where they participated in various events like obstacle courses, a rappelling tower and a paintball course.
"Most students that take the course do not go on to contract as cadets but it provides them an opportunity to experience some things they’ve never done before," said Beuerman. "The seniors in the program take charge of the exercise. They plan and execute the training the whole weekend."