ULM logo
Blackhawk lands at ULM, transports ROTC cadets to training at Fort Polk

Published Nov. 9, 2020

A Blackhawk helicopter landed Friday morning behind Malone Stadium to pick up a special group of University of Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Tech, and Grambling students.


PHOTO: ROTC cadets from ULM, Tech and Grambling board a Blackhawk helicopter for transport to training exercises at Fort Polk.
Sid Gaulee/ULM Photo Services



The U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets were delivered to Fort Polk, La., for a weekend of training exercises. It was the first time a Blackhawk landed on campus to transport ROTC students.


The cadets included, from ULM, Brandon Brown, Gabriel Cole, William Gresham, Tiona Jenkins, Sidney Jones, Jasmine Savant, and Aniyah Smith, from Tech, siblings Abigail Taylor and Josiah Taylor, and from GSU, Kenichi Pass.


Directing the transport was 1st Lt. Alexandria Cooper, who explained that GSU is the host university, including the ULM and Tech units. The training weekend involves ROTC students from universities throughout Louisiana.


“We are the Grambling State University ROTC Battalion. We are the host school for the ROTC, and we also have ULM and Louisiana Tech cadets,” said Cooper.


“For the whole weekend we are going to be doing field exercises at Fort Polk. Today we have the opportunity for our cadets to get on a Blackhawk, which is a very special aircraft,” she said.

Dr. Ron Berry and Belinda Jones.

Belinda Jones of Bastrop waited with her son, ULM Cadet Sidney Jones, for the Blackhawk to arrive.


“I’m very proud of him,” Jones said. “He’s always wanted to do this since he was five years old.”


When asked why he joined ROTC, Sidney Jones said, “I always wanted to pursue a college degree, and a military career and ROTC offered both of those.”


After watching her son fall in line with his battalion mates, Belinda Jones waited anxiously for the helicopter to arrive. She was joined by ULM President Dr. Ron Berry, who stood with her until the Blackhawk was out of sight.