Mountain Cold Weather Company

black hats -mcwThe Mountain and Cold Weather Company (MCW) is one of the most exceptional organizations you’ll find in any Army ROTC unit in the country. The primary goal of this organization is to provide the Army with a select group of officers trained in how to survive in the mountains and in cold weather.


“Climb to conquer” was the motto of the MCW platoon founded in 1947 by Master Sgt. Leslie J. Hurley, a mountaineer and a member of the famed 10th Mountain Division during World War II. Hurley recognized the uniqueness of Norwich University’s location among mountains with severe winter temperatures as well as its mission to train cadets to be officers in the Army. Realizing the need for officers with experience in mountain warfare, Hurley and the Army started the MCW platoon at Norwich. Skills taught to these students included skiing, snowshoeing, wilderness survival, first aid, climbing and mountaineering, day and night land navigation and cold-weather injuries.

An important first was accomplished in the fall of 2000 with the certification of 45 company members as National Search and Rescue Association search and rescue technicians, second stage.

mcw decent

MCW today

The Mountain Cold Weather Company trains three times a week. Two days of training are devoted to basic level mountaineering and mountain operations, and one day a week is devoted to more advance mountaineering skills and tasks for upperclassmen.

Training culminates in an exercise held in January where members can practice what they have learned in a mountain and cold weather environment. Cadets conduct all the training with the advice of Army ROTC cadre. The MCW also conducts numerous rescue and special operations demonstrations throughout the year. Demonstration venues include Rook Week and Family Week. Cadets who complete this training can go into the Army knowing they possess skills few of their peers have.

Cadets have a chance to attend the Army Mountain Warfare School as well as other military mountaineering instruction taught by Army Mountaineering Instructors.

Check out Mountain Cold Weather Company on Facebook:


Connect with us

Norwich University
158 Harmon Drive
Northfield, VT 05663 USA
802.485.2000 | 1.800.468.6679
Copyright © 2018 Norwich University - all rights reserved