Life in the ROTC gives individuals the chance to learn lifelong skills that go beyond life in the military. Read the stories of our cadets who are using the ROTC to reach their goals.
Throughout my life my family has supported the military. While my direct family has not included any service members, I always have felt a need to serve my country. I have always had a strong sense of patriotism and admired the men and women who wear their country’s uniform. I knew that I needed to serve my country, but also wanted to acquire my college education. To be able to serve as a leader and officer in the United States Army and also receive and advanced education is why I chose to enroll in Army ROTC.
I have learned many things about the customs and traditions that one would experience through a profession of arms. As an MSI, it was a very new experience. One of the most important things that I have learned so far is how far I can push myself physically and mentally. As a cadet I have been under large amounts of stress at times from balancing schoolwork, clubs, and ROTC events, but through being challenged I have been able to accomplish a lot more than I originally thought I could have. Time management is a critical skill needed as a cadet, and one that I am still learning. Everyday is a new experience and challenge in the ROTC program, and one that I look forward to every time the opportunity arises.
Without any doubt the best experience in ROTC has been swearing the oath and becoming contracted. The experience was phenomenal. As an advanced scholarship designee I knew that if I kept my grades, PT scores, and attitude high that at some point my sophomore year I would be contracted into the United States Army. However, I never knew what that would feel like. I was contracted as I was repelling down a tower at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin: one of the most audacious, phenomenal, bold, and exhilarating ways of being contracted I could have hoped for. When I was told I would be getting contracted, my heart was racing. It was both an exhilarating and indescribable emotion that can only be experienced by those who have also sworn to protect the Constitution as part of the Army. To this day my blood still rushes at the thought of finally being able to say that I am part of the United State’s Army and wear the uniform with the highest respect and pride.
The opportunity to face challenges and become the best person that I can is one of my favorite things in ROTC. Many people foreign to the ROTC program turn away at the challenges and commitments that one makes when joining. Commitments such as PT at 5:50 a.m., weekends spent at Fort McCoy training events and Ranger Challenge competitions have always been difficult, but continue to be enduring and meaningful challenges that leave me with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
I plan to lead my soldiers in the Army. After being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, I plan to serve my commitment to the fullest. Although I am still unsure of the exact path the Army will lead me, I know that I will always be leading the Army’s soldiers with the skills and tools learned in the ROTC program.Cadet Joseph Rebholz