Clarkson University Army ROTC Announces Hayley Elliott to be First Female Armor Officer from Clarkson

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POTSDAM, NY (05/04/2018) Clarkson University Senior Biology Major and Army ROTC Cadet Hayley Elliott will be the first woman from Clarkson to serve as an Armor Officer in the United States Army.

Elliott being the first woman to enter this role from Clarkson comes as no surprise given her successes in the ROTC program during her time at the university. She is one of just three Distinguished Military Graduates from Clarkson, meaning she is part of the top 20 percent of cadets in the nation. She also holds multiple fitness records in Clarkson ROTC.

This year will only be the second year the option to be an Armor Officer will be open to women ROTC Lieutenants. Military Science Professor Lieutenant Michael C. Athanasakis said his pride for Elliott extends beyond the bounds of gender.

"We are proud of her performance, her gender aside. She is our cadet Sergeant Major, she was top 20 percent in the nation in that she is a distinguished military graduate," Athanasakis said. "I am pleased she is going into a combat arms branch. Being a maneuver officer myself as an aviator, I think that is a great upbringing for young officers to spend some time in that environment."

Elliott credits another member of the ROTC staff at Clarkson University with inspiring her to choose the Armor Officer path.

"I was 100 percent thinking of going infantry for I think all of my ROTC career and (Military Science Instructor Sergeant First Class Arderrick Wiggins) is a tanker and has been his whole life and I just looked up to the way he carries himself. He always has a fun time and that seems like the tanker mindset and I appreciate it," Elliott said.

While she will be regarded as the first women from Clarkson to enter her specific role, Elliott said her gender has never been a consideration during her time in the ROTC program.

"I think that is the best part about Clarkson. At this ROTC program, I have never felt like gender really plays a part in anything," she said.

Elliott also attended the Mission Command Conference at West Point on April 18 and 19. The Conference serves as the United States Military Academy Cadets' capstone experience, facilitating their development of a professional self-concept of officership.

Elliott will be stationed in Fort Benning, GA for her initial training. She also plans to attend Ranger School.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations, and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.