May 28, 2014
WEST HAVEN, CONN. – Brett Rankowitz, a University of New Haven senior majoring in criminal justice and a member of the UNH Reserved Officer Training Corps program, has been awarded the Bronze Cross Legion of Valor Achievement Award.
Rankowitz, a Niantic, Conn., resident, was awarded the cross for outstanding performance throughout his junior year at UNH. Fewer than 50 cadets and midshipmen nationally receive the cross each year.
“Brett’s constant desire and willingness to achieve a higher standard warranted this prestigious award,” said Capt. Sean Ritchie of the UNH ROTC program. “Every single day he performed to the best of his abilities, and he consistently set a positive example for others within the program.”
Rankowitz, who will be the company commander of the UNH ROTC cadets beginning this fall, has served as an ROTC team leader, squad leader, platoon sergeant, platoon leader and company first sergeant. “His peer and leadership evaluations, without a doubt, demonstrated his knowledge and frequently earned him a score of ‘excellent,”’ Ritchie said.
As a member of the Nathan Hale Battalion Ranger Company, Rankowitz conducted physical training five days a week, and each Thursday he conducted road marches ranging of up to 12 miles while carrying a 50 pound backpack. “Brett’s willingness to push himself and, subsequently, to achieve a higher standard, motivated and inspired his subordinates and peers daily,” said Ritchie.
The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 the university enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates.