James Spear, Cowboy Battalion Commander
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Cadet James Spear, (second from left), protecting a home while fighting the Mullen Fire
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Mullen Fire, West of Laramie, WY
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  • Name: James Spear
  • Hometown: McClean, Virginia
  • School: University of Wyoming
  • Major: International Studies & Foreign Affairs with Minor in Military Science
  • 5th Brigade - Cowboy Battalion
What makes the Cadet stand out among his/her peers?

James is a cadet who embodies the value of Selfless Service. Even with his challenging college schedule that includes learning both Chinese and Arabic, James took the personal initiative to get certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and get his Firefighter 1 certification as well. He took on this daunting task in order to provide services as a volunteer in his community. He has responded to emergency medical calls numerous times and continues to train with the local Fire Department. When the Mullen Fire started just 25 miles West of the University of Wyoming James immediately volunteered to help fight it. As the fire grew his family home was threatened and he and his parents were forced to evacuate the area. Despite his family’s ordeal, James continued to serve as a volunteer fighting the fire. The Mullen Fire is easily one of the largest single fires in recorded history in Wyoming, and the largest in the area in recent history. To date it has burned 176,878 Acres and is now 97% contained due, in part, to the sacrifices and efforts of volunteer firefighters like James.

James’ commitment to excellence in the Cowboy Battalion is only rivaled by his commitment to serve his sate and community. He is an example for future cadets in the battalion to follow, and sets the standard for his peers to aspire to.

Cadet Spear is an MSIV who has been selected to serve as the Cowboy Battalion Commander for his final semester in the program. He has served as the Army Ten Miler team captain for the last two years and has competed in Bataan Memorial Death March team, the Cowboy Battalion Color Guard team, and earned the Gold German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency (GAFPB). James was selected as a Distinguished Military Graduate this year and has been selected to serve on Active duty following his commission in May of 2021. He hopes to serve in the Infantry branch and aspires to eventually serve in the Army Special Forces.

James will graduate with Honors from the Honors College in May 2021. James was selected as the recipient of the Society of the War of 1812 Award, which is presented to cadets who encourage and demonstrate the ideals of Americanism by deed, conduct, or both. He was also selected as the recipient of the Association of the United States Army History Award, which is presented for excellence in the study of military history.

In the Cadet's Own Words:

Growing up, I’ve been all over the world. I’ve had the privilege of meeting people from different cultures, creeds and beliefs. I treasure these lessons, but my biggest takeaway was how important and amazing the United States is. Our values, beliefs and truths are a beacon for freedom, and after seeing their value and living with the benefits, I wanted to give back and serve the country I now call home.

I joined Army ROTC to serve, and to grow as a person. I’ve had the chance to develop myself, my ideals and my perspective on what being a leader means. Building myself up to be better, so that I can make a bigger difference in my community and the world around me, is what motivates me to get out of bed every day. I’ve had the chance to grow up with some amazing people who have mentored me and developed me as a person and as a soldier.

My parents both worked in politics, and my dad worked in Iraq as a civilian for the Department of Labor before entering the private sector. Their lessons in selfless service and servant leadership are a key part of who I am today. In addition, I’ve had some amazing mentors within my Army ROTC battalion: the executive officer, Maj. Michael McGee, has helped me grow as a person and helped me as a counselor; my Professor of Military Science, Lt. Col. J. Curtis, continues to develop me professionally and helps me understand what a life of service truly means. Without these people, I don’t think I’d be the man I am today.

About Army ROTC

Army ROTC is one of the best leadership courses in the country and is part of your college curriculum. Through classes and field training, Army ROTC provides you with the tools to become an Army Officer without interfering with your other classes. ROTC also provides you with discipline and money for tuition while enhancing your college experience.

Army ROTC offers pathways to becoming an Army Officer for high school students, current active duty Soldiers, and for current National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers through the Simultaneous Membership Program.

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