Battle hand-off

Lambert rotated out of university after three years

| Kelsea Renz managing editor |

In the wake of the loss of former faculty member Sgt. 1st Class Forrest Robertson, Pitt State ROTC cadets prepare to lose another member of the ROTC teaching staff (cadre).
Lt. Col. Christopher Lambert will relinquish his post as professor of military science at the end of May. The Army is rotating him to Fort Belvoir, Va., and bringing Lt. Col. Kenneth Hutchison to the position.
“They want to bring in a fresh set of eyes as often as possible and give other officers at my level a chance to experience this kind of challenge,” Lambert said. “It’s time to turn the program over to another professor of military science.”
Lambert has held the position for three years, during which the program accomplished much under his guidance.
“He’s always had high expectations for us and has really helped develop us as officers,” said John Fatkin, senior in history. “It’ll be tough to follow with how competitive our school is across the nation. He’s left a big legacy and big shoes to fill.”
Since Lambert’s installment to the post, the program has, among other things, commissioned 44 cadets and will commission another 12 this year, started the Gorilla Dash, built the only rappel town on a college campus in Kansas and started several new scholarships, including one in Robertson’s name.

Lt. Col. Christopher Lambert

Lt. Col. Christopher Lambert

“Outside commissioning, my proudest moment was seeing how the cadets reacted to the death of Sgt. Robertson,” Lambert said. “The cadets took several initiatives to memorialize him. They created the scholarship. I’m proud of them for having that maturity.”
Lambert always made sure the focus was on the cadets. He changed the curriculum for the program to follow both Army regulations and university guidelines.
“Instead of waiting until the last few years in the program, we’re pushing the more rigorous curriculum onto the sophomores and eventually into the freshman class,” he said. “We want them to be more prepared as juniors and more prepared as seniors.”
Lambert also had to learn a lot about working with civilians to help further the program.
“We’re not just another department. We’re prepping the cadets to be part of the Army,” he said. “To make this work, the university has to be behind us; the community has to be behind us.”
The work has been worth it to Lambert, though, to see the cadets commission.
“That’s what we’re here to do, is prepare and condition these young men and women and send them out,” he said. “Commissioning those lieutenants has been my proudest moment.”

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