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Union University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program currently has six cadets and is an extension of The University of Tennessee at Martin’s ROTC.
“The goal of ROTC is to train cadets to one day be officers in the U.S. Military,” said Zack Langley, junior Biblical studies major and ROTC cadet. “However, if they choose not to continue to become an officer, it is to train good citizenship skills.”
Students are not required to join the military if they participate in the ROTC program. During the first two years, students are Military Science Level One and Military Science Level Two. The first years are foundational for cadets, and they learn basic military history, tactics and practical skills.
In their third and fourth years, MSIII and MSIV cadets focus on leadership abilities. Langley is an MSIV and is involved in helping develop and promote the program, while fulfilling a cadet’s regular duties.
A normal week for a cadet consists of physical training at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday, class with fellow cadets once a week and lab Thursday afternoon.
For lab, cadets travel to UT Martin to practically use what they learn in class through land navigation, situational training exercises and other activities.
Langley said he has learned much from the program, but especially time management, good stewardship and true leadership.
He learned time management through the early morning physical training, the demands during the week and the Army’s emphasis on punctuality.
Good stewardship goes in hand with time management by learning to properly manage resources. According to Langley, during situational training exercise a cadet must complete the mission with the tools given in the appropriate amount of time.
Finally, Langley spoke about leadership. “It’s not just knowing how to lead but how to be the kind of person who is a leader,” he said.
After college, Langley plans to attend Southeastern Theological Seminary and later become a chaplain in the U.S. Army.
Rachel Huggins, class of 2014, was also cadet at Union.
“The program gave me not only the skills I needed for a great future in the military but also kept me grounded spiritually, due to being surrounded by fellow believers and the finest future lieutenants I have ever met,” Huggins said.
More information about the program can be found on the Union ROTC webpage.