December 15th, 2010
The ROTC is a unique opportunity for students who have an interest in the military and want to pay their way through college. It’s a commitment that isn’t easy, which is obvious given the involvement with the Army, Navy and Air Force, but can prove to be a fruitful experience. Students receive a scholarship that pays for all tuition and fees, and possibly room and board, textbooks, lab fees, and in some cases, even a subsistence allowance. Additionally, students learn valuable life skills that take the average person years to gain.
The ROTC program is comprised of core courses that prepare students for active duty. They’re taken as electives and provide leadership and tactical training. Students learn how to problem solve and work in a team during difficult situations, like during outdoor military drills in uniform, or summer training programs. During one weekend per month in their final two years, students participate in active military service. After graduating, students serve time in active duty and reserve — the length of time depends on the requirements of the scholarship — so they can make a living while protecting their country, which is one of the most honorable careers a person could have. When they seek a civilian profession, they’ll be equipped with a multitude of skills that employers covet. Students also benefit from the program by staying physically fit — something that isn’t easy to do in college — and making lifelong friends.
Candidates for freshman and sophomore level ROTC training must have no health issues, a clean background, US citizenship, and the ability to meet other requirements determined by the program and school. If a candidate fails to meet every requirement, a waiver may be granted by the department after reviewing the individual’s situation. Joining the ROTC isn’t like joining a campus organization — it’s a life choice. The decision to go through with it shouldn’t be taken lightly, nor should the challenge be accepted by the faint of heart.