Commander Butikofer started his career path as a speech pathologist, after receiving his Bachelors’ degree in communicative disorders and Masters’ degree in speech pathology from Utah State University. After being inspired by a Navy commercial, he decided to switch careers and serve his country.
Butikofer served in the Navy for 20 years, serving as a surface warfare officer on a variety of ships—including mine hunter and amphibious assault ships:
During his naval career, he went on to Naval Post Graduate School where he earned his degree in National Security Affairs with an emphasis in Latin America. After retiring from the Navy, he chose to join our Providence Hall staff to help bring the NJROTC program to our students and instill them with Navy values like leadership and attention to detail.
Cadets can choose to participate in as many teams as they’d like, but these aren’t mandatory for the program. They give cadets the opportunity to compete against other JROTC units, and our color guard team presents at all of our school games.
These are our six teams:
We’ve taken field trips to various college ROTC programs, including the University of Utah and Utah Valley University. These are opportunities for us to learn about their individual programs and participate in activities with their cadets.
We also participate in monthly community service events, some of which have included
Every year, we do an Orientation Tour where we visit naval bases. Because there aren’t any naval bases in Utah, this gives cadets the opportunity to see the Navy upclose and to put their NJROTC skills to use during hands-on activities. For more information about this trip, please contact Commander Butikofer.
Yes! To help us get the funds we need for our end-of-the-year orientation trip, we provide concession support for sporting events. Usually, we do this for BYU football and basketball games but have also helped with the Utah Jazz games in the past.
Due to the types of activities that we do, NJROTC can be physically demanding. For students with disabilities, we waive the physical requirements. They are able to still wear the uniform and participate alongside their peers in the activities they’re able to.
NJROTC acts as a valuable leadership curriculum. After all, you can’t learn to lead from a book. You learn leadership by leading. In NJROTC, cadets will have the opportunity to act as leaders for their peers and in their community. Through their various roles (such as that of an officer), they’ll take on various responsibilities and be given the chance to plan certain events.
Cadets may pursue ROTC scholarships for the colleges they choose to apply to. These are four-year scholarships where college students can attend school for free while participating in the ROTC program. In exchange, students will serve four years in the military. There are ROTC programs for the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, and the Air Force.
To get into the United States Naval Academy, applicants must be nominated. Typically, these nominations must come from a US Senator or Congressman. As an NJROTC instructor, Commander Butikofer can nominate three cadets every year to the USNA.
Although NJROTC is not geared around recruiting cadets into the Navy, a few students may choose to enlist in the armed forces directly after graduating high school. If they choose to do so after participating in at least two years of a JROTC program, they’ll be able to start at a higher pay grade.
Students, do you feel ready to take on the challenge of becoming an NJROTC cadet? Talk to your parents and school counselor about adding the class to your schedule and/or participating in the after school program. If you have any questions, Commander Butikofer will be more than happy to answer them.