The Army ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program here on campus is set up to help individuals become leaders, not only in the military, but as a civilian as well.
Labs are held Thursdays to offer a more hands-on training of what was learned in the classroom. During lab, cadets took turns at target practice in a virtual shooting range to show the accuracy of their shots. Cadets were even shown a breathing technique to help them achieve a more precise shot.
“We have a new concept in the Army ROTC called the Corps of Cadets. We’re looking for fit young men and women to come see what we’re all about. See how we can help them go through college, maybe help them pay for college. If anybody is interested in anything about the Army this is where to start, before you make a 6-8 year commitment you can star here and see if you like it,” said Sgt. Major Rickey Gibson, course instructor.
The first year is known as the MS1 year. All MS1s are taught the basics of land navigation and the structure of the chain of command.
“I wanted to follow a military approach when I was coming into college. It’s a leadership program, so I’ve already been developing leadership qualities every day. Discipline and leadership is what I want to take away from here when I leave,” said MS1 Nathaniel Tunberg, sophomore architectural engineering major.
The second year is known as MS2. MS2’s are usually squad leaders, which means they are given a hand full of MS1’s to look after.
“I got a 3 year scholarship with ROTC. In the later courses you learn how to physically move your team around in combat situations. I’m proud to wear this (army uniform) every day. I’m in the best shape of my life and just being with people that have similar interests is pretty cool,” said MS2 James Bonordon, junior mechanical engineering major.
During the third year, or MS3, cadets are given more responsibilities, higher leadership roles and preparation for the LDAC.
Cadets go to LDAC during the summer following MS3, which determines whether or not a cadet gets commissioned at the end of MS4.
During the final year of the program, it becomes an MS4’s responsibility to oversee everyone in the program, along with teaching MS3s information on how to get through LDAC.
“Basically what we do here as MS4’s is organize and plan everything. Yes there are instructors here, but everything you see happening here today is run by the cadets. Every little detail is planned out. Basically it’s our job to get everything running. This program has made me into what I believe to be officer material. It’s got me ready for the real world in the army. I love being able to see the development in the students as the years go by and they get older. You can visually see the progress from MS1 year to MS4 year,” said Battalion Commander MS4 Andrew Willias, senior geology major.
Sgt. Major Gibson invites anyone interested in the program to come and sit in on a lab, or join them for physical training (PT).
Scholarships are available to anyone interested in ROTC, ranging between one to four-year scholarships.
Labs are scheduled at 2:45pm in the Karr- Veteran Memorial Hall, and PT takes place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00am.