Life as a ROTC Cadet

By: Cadet Devin Stossmeister

The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a program offered here at Mount St. Mary’s University and many other campuses across the United States. The purpose of the program is to help students train mentally and physically to become Officers in the United States Army.

ROTC has been at the forefront of producing military officers in our nation’s Armed Forces since 1916. In ROTC, you can expect to be challenged during training exercises that will take place in one of the many military installations in Maryland. Cadets conduct land navigation and tactics training in austere environments to prepare them to perform under pressure. Junior and Senior Cadets are provided with the opportunity to go on a Staff Ride that seeks to learn from historical battles.

ROTC is not just a class you take or a club to join, it is the stepping stone in to a hallowed profession of leadership.

The Mount is one of the three schools, in collaboration with Hood College and McDaniel College, which comprise The Green Terror Battalion. ROTC can provide amazing opportunities other than a commission, such as helping create a character like no other, and possibly the chance to travel worldwide.

The training cadets receive prepares them for Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, Ky., where they are then tested and evaluated for leadership competence after their junior year. Once Cadets return from Advanced Camp and complete their senior year of college, they will receive a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Active Army, Army Reserve or National Guard. During summer breaks, there are training options, such as Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP), which can take one abroad, to Airborne School, to Air Assault School as well as the chance to train with other cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

One of the most satisfying reasons to join ROTC and be a cadet is the pride of being able to say that you are a student who is training to be the best you can be, and willing to serve your country. A cadet can elect to serve in the National Guard or Army Reserves while they are in ROTC. This will give them access to more training and experience. Another reason that makes ROTC worth the rise and grind are the connections and people you meet in the program. You have a support system that can help with grades, life problems or improving physical fitness.

Cadets are a unique group of students: respectful, hardworking, determined and responsible individuals who have gained the power to balance the Army’s standards and excel well in school at the same time. ROTC has changed my life in more ways than I could have imaged. I have learned what it means to be a difference-maker inside of the classroom and outside in the real world. The experiences and friendships I have fostered while in ROTC will last a lifetime, and everything that I have learned will continue to guide how I go about life.

For those who are willing to challenge themselves and take on ROTC, it has many benefits and can act as a springboard for further opportunities in military, federal and civilian life.

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