Join the Cause – ROTC

Angela Surrusco ’14
EE Staff Writer

Senior year is full of stress, anxiety, and hopes about the future. Obviously, there is also the dreaded “senioritis” which seems to infect every member of the senior population. It’s not all fun and games as these students must apply to colleges and figure out careers to pursue in the future. For some, the military has a strong impact on their plans. Choosing the army as a career path would change these students’ lives forever. 

ROTC, which stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, is a college-based program for students to train them to be officers in any branch of the armed forces. More than 1100 colleges and universities offer an ROTC program, so there are wide range opportunities. These ROTC cadets are also able to major in almost any subject so they can continue with the career of their choice after their service. ROTC is an intense program that will provide unique skills and traits and transform these young officers into strong leaders.

Eric Jones, a senior at Trumbull High School, said, “I have always wanted to join the military and ROTC allows me to finally do that while also seeking a higher education.” There are many obligations involved for students in the ROTC program. Over the summer, college students participate in rigorous drills and training programs. Moreover, they receive basic military and officer training at an ROTC unit near their college. Under ROTC, students can receive merit-based scholarships that will pay for partial to full tuition. Two to four year scholarships are available to choose from, thus there are many options available to benefit each student. In return for the financial aid, students are required to partake in active military service after graduation.
Mr. Doyle, a teacher at Trumbull High School who joined the military at age 18, said, “ROTC is a good idea for people who do not know yet exactly what they want to do with their life. The financial benefit is also a huge part because they will be able to attend college with financial aid, and they can end up with a higher salary after serving.”

Reasons for joining an ROTC program differ from student to student. According to an article on The Washington Post, “The number of college students in the Army ROTC has grown 50% since the 2005-06 school year.” Possible reasons for this growth can be free higher education, strong patriotism, army lineage, or the background experience on a resume. Serving as an officer shows leadership qualities and unique experience that will impress future employers. Furthermore, joining this program does not take away a student’s usual college experience; military courses can be taken alongside normal classes. Their responsibilities in both school and military courses show students the dedication and hard-work that it takes to be a true leader.

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