By Alexus Brock
The Reserve Officer Training Corps at Union is a commissioning program. The officers-in-training participate in the course program to become full-fledged second lieutenants once they have graduated.
However, many students do not know that the program is actually beneficial to students financially.
Aaron Rowland, a senior media communications major who is in his final year with the ROTC program, said he believes the biggest plus is opportunity.
“It’s one of the few programs that you can be in where not only does it count as a class credit while you’re in it but you get leadership skills that many businesses are after,” Rowland said. “So it’s a big plus in today’s business world once you graduate.”
Rowland cites several benefits from being involved in the program, ranging from developing leadership skills to traveling to different parts of the world.
“The summer programs, as a cadet, you are eligible to go to not only Army camps but also cultural camps [the program] will send you to,” Rowland said. “Last year, I went to El Salvador and was paid by the Army to go and study the culture with some other cadets — and that was straight through the ROTC program.
“There are all sorts of these wonderful opportunities you can apply for and invest in.”
Students who participate also say there is no time to do anything else.
“I invest at least 30 hours a week into ROTC,” said Rachel Huggins, junior sports medicine major. “Between school, class and labs, I don’t have a lot of time to do anything else. It’s basically a full-time job. ”
Rowland and Huggins said they both plan to continue their military careers and schooling.
“Once I graduate from the program, I will be a part of the chaplain candidate program,” Rowland said. “So I am going to graduate school in New Orleans, the school of my choice, and I will actually be getting a scholarship from the Army to get a master’s in divinity so that I can become a military chaplain.”
Huggins plans to sign a contract with the U.S. National Guard for eight years and pursue a military career in a field of her choice.
“I’m not really sure where this will take me yet,” Huggins said. “But I’m happy to be in a program that will support me no matter what I do. At first, I joined ROTC for the scholarship to go to Union, but now I see it as an opportunity to grow.”