ROTC is more than just a class

Johnathan Jones, Columnist

Reserve Officer Training Corps is the one of the Army’s tools for training the future officers who will be leading America’s soldiers. ROTC is a way for college students to train and develop the leadership skills to be able to lead in today’s Army.

But, as the students are training with ROTC they are also able to have a normal college experience and social life. At Eastern, students in ROTC are required to take the Military Science course, attend physical training every morning and a lab every Thursday.

While this may seem like a lot to take on for a full-time student, it is small when compared to all the benefits that the student will receive—and I am not just referring to the financial aid and monetary aspects.

In the short two and a half years I have been with the ROTC program, I have gained and developed many personal and leadership skills that I would have otherwise not thought about. In attending PT every morning, I have pushed through personal goals and I am continually pushed to do better by fellow cadets.

By just being in the program, the amount of opportunities available is almost endless. There are countless opportunities for internships, travel, humanitarian work, military specialty schools and personal development.

But the greatest thing that I have found with ROTC is the small, tight-knit family it brings with it. I have met some of the greatest people in my college career and made some lifelong friends.

With the group of people in ROTC, we all know that no matter what one of us is going through that someone is there to help. Whether it is studying for a test, being homesick or just needing someone to talk, to I have 40 different people I can go to.

From personal experience, I have had a few cadets approach me to talk about issues they were having. Each of them told me that they felt like I was the only person they could go to since they have no one else around campus.

Having that one-on-one time with those individuals and seeing them work through their issues are some of the most rewarding times I experienced here at Eastern.

Not only have I been able to become more connected with my fellow students, but I have also met some wonderful leaders in the Army.

At Eastern, we have various cadre who are here for three years at a time to help teach, build and push the cadets to become the next group of Army leaders. They have been all over the world with the Army and offer countless real-world experiences that they use to help cadets prepare for their own careers.

So the next time you see us marching around campus, running in the early morning hours or just walking around campus, you can understand why some of us choose to take on the extra work each week.

We do it to push ourselves and to help those around us see what they are capable of.

Johnathan Jones is a junior geography major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].