Charlotte Levine '17 named one of country's top ROTC cadets

By: Kathy Hovis,  AS Communications
Wed, 10/26/2016

Charlotte Levine ’17 has been named one of the top 10 ROTC cadets from across the country in this year’s graduating class.

“Charlotte has a tremendous intellect but her most impressive trait is definitely her work ethic,” said James Kazukietas, Sergeant First Class and military science instructor for Cornell ROTC. “She has maintained such a high level of motivation and discipline in not only her academic studies, but has also managed to capture leadership lessons and use them to develop and lead younger generations of cadets.”

Levine has risen in the ranks at Cornell’s ROTC and will serve as cadet battalion commander next semester, where she will lead training exercises and be responsible for the 80 cadets in Cornell’s program.

A history and government major in the College of Arts Sciences, Levine said she came to Cornell thinking she would earn an undergrad degree then head straight to law school focusing on environmental law.

But a freshman year class, “Conversations about Inequality,” and a visit to the Cornell ROTC office, changed her path. Along with the other benefits, Levine said ROTC provides the camaraderie and competition she missed from participating in high school sports and the structure to help her focus her efforts.

The top 10 honor is based on several criteria, including grade point average, strong performance on the Army Physical Fitness Test, college athletic participation and performance during college ROTC training and Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky, according to an ROTC press release.

Along with advanced camp, Levine also spent a summer in Turkey in a one-month ROTC immersion program, which included a week at that that country’s equivalent of West Point, where she went through their commando training program.

On campus, she’s involved in Cornell Outdoor Education, teaching hiking and backcountry skills and she’s been a guide for the outdoor odyssey program for freshmen during orientation. She’s also the president of Von Cramm Co-op.

She’s also enjoyed taking “random classes all over the map,” she said, including “Alien Empire,” an introduction to entomology class, Latin for her language and various interesting government classes from foreign policy to inequality.

The top 10 honor allows Levine to choose the Army branch in which she will serve after graduation – she’s chosen armor, a branch just recently opened to women.

“This will be just the second class of ROTC cadets for which females have access to these armor and infantry positions,” she said. “I’m really up to that challenge."