ROTC names new officer
At a change-of-command ceremony Friday afternoon, Capt. Michael Cashman officially replaced Capt. Timothy L. Watkins, a professor of naval science, as commanding officer of the University's Naval ROTC program. Officials tapped Cashman, currently the commodore of the Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic in Norfolk, for the position last June.
In addition to leading the University's selective 55-student unit, Cashman will teach courses in ethics and military leadership for fourth-year students the semester immediately before they begin active service.
Cashman said he is honored to adopt his role as mentor and teacher.
Watkins, who has served as commanding officer of the Naval ROTC since September 2009, is retiring after completing 30 years of service in the Navy.
Cashman, a 1986 graduate of the University of Maine's Naval ROTC program, has served in the Navy for 26 years. He said his experience in the field makes him well-prepared to head the University's unit.
"What I hope to bring [to the program] is 26 years as a military officer, what I have learned both in combat, relationships within the military [and] ethical decision making," Cashman said.
Both the Navy and the University take part in the selection process. They require a commanding officer of the Naval ROTC to have a 3.5 GPA in a master's program and a 3.0 graduating GPA in a bachelor's program, Cashman said.
Watkins said he is glad to pass on command to a familiar figure, since he and Cashman have known each other for several years.
"This position is very sought after; there are guys practically standing in line to get it, and it's always nice to have someone you know come after you," Watkins said. "I would love to stay longer if the Navy would let me."
-compiled by Monika Fallon