Temple Times Online Edition
    SEPTEMBER 15, 2005
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Temple ROTC’s Griffin retires from commander’s post

Last week Lt. Col. Rodney Griffin (left), joined by his wife, Cynthia (second from left), passed his duties as ROTC program battalion commander to Maj. James Markert, who attended the ceremony with his wife, Karin.

On Thursday, Sept. 8, control of Temple’s ROTC program officially changed hands as retiring battalion commander Lt. Col. Rodney Griffin passed his duties on to his replacement, Maj. James Markert.

Griffin took the helm of Temple ROTC in August 2001 and steered the program through the 9/11 attacks and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a perilous time for those in the military.

Four years later, Temple ROTC, known by Army brass as “Subway Warriors” for the battalion’s proximity to SEPTA’s Broad Street Line, continues to have a steady enrollment of close to 70 cadets.

“I had a choice four years ago to return to the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg [N.C.] or come to Temple,” Griffin said. “I chose Temple, and I haven’t regretted any of it. I’m proud that year after year we’re putting quality leaders from this program into the Army. The reward is seeing those students mature and succeed.”

After 27 years in the Army, Griffin jokes that he’ll now have a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. He says he’ll have to look for work for the first time in his life, even though, he said, “after the Army, anything else is just a job.”

As for Markert, his assignment as battalion commander marks his first opportunity to work on a college campus. A West Point graduate who has been in the Army for 16 years, he was awarded his post at Temple after a rigorous selection process.

“I like working with young people, and this is an important job, preparing officers for the future,” said Markert, who returned from Iraq in late 2004.

“College is a crucial stage in the leadership development of students. We want them to be 100 percent ready for the Army when they leave here.”

- By Ted Boscia