An assistant director of admissions at Michigan State University and dedicated advocate for Army ROTC is the latest recipient of U.S. Army Cadet Command's highest individual honor.

Michael Kolar last week received the 2012 Gen. William E. DePuy Award. It was presented by Lt. Col. Jeff McDonald, the professor of military science at the university.

Kolar said he wasn't expecting the award and was in "disbelief and shock" when notified. He was honored just to be considered, he said.

"I'm very proud of my 17 years working with ROTC and getting to know the officers," Kolar said. "I'm very humbled to receive the General William E. DePuy Award. It's been an honor and privilege to assist and promote Army ROTC for all these years."

The DePuy Award is named for the first commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and an Army ROTC graduate and supporter of the program. USACC created the DePuy Award in 2005 to honor individuals who have provided significant support to Army ROTC.

Kolar his career at Michigan State as a graduate assistant in the office of admissions in 1994. After graduating with a master of arts in student administration, he was hired as an admissions counselor. He was also assigned the additional duty of on-campus Army ROTC liaison.

As ROTC liaison, Kolar assisted with Army recruitment efforts and incorporated Army ROTC into yearly university recruitment cycles. In the fall of 1996, Kolar started establishing working relationships with Army ROTC recruiting officers. He said that before 1996, contact with Army ROTC had been limited to occasional phone requests regarding future Cadet applicants "maybe a couple times during the year."

In the nomination packet, McDonald wrote that Kolar has "…established a reputation as a consistent advocate, ally and friend of the Michigan State University Army ROTC Program, its Cadets and its cadre."

One way Kolar promotes the Army and MSU's Army ROTC Spartan Battalion is ensuring that Army ROTC is represented at college open houses and recruiting events throughout the state of Michigan.

"I am always looking for new ways to give the Spartan Battalion maximum exposure during our on-campus visitation programs and off-campus recruitment efforts," he said. "Army ROTC has a rich history at MSU and it's a great program to promote to high school seniors who aspire to serve our country after their undergraduate education. I have been very blessed to work with such outstanding staff over the years and have created many friendships along the way."