What are your plans after graduation?
In October I report to Fort Benning GA for Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course (IBOLC). Every new officer in the Army is assigned a branch and attend the BOLC for their respective branch. As an Infantry Officer, I’ll attend IBOLC. Following IBOLC, I’ll attend Ranger School and Airborne School, also in Fort Benning, which are mandatory follow-on training for Infantry officers. Following all that training, I’ll report to my unit, the 3rd Infantry Division, out of Fort Stewart, GA and serve.
2. What made you join the program?
Around my junior year of high school, I began to think military service was a challenging and rewarding profession. I thought the job was important, and was attracted to the intensity and camaraderie in the military community. Initially, I had aspirations to attend West Point. When those plans did not work out, I competed for and received an ROTC scholarship, which I took to a school of my choice.
3. What is your fondest memory from the ROTC program?
My fondest memory was during our Joint Leadership Development Exercise (JLDX) in Camp Ethan Allen, VT this past April. I was given the opportunity to train with a special forces unit getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan, and flew back home to Albany from the training event in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter.
4. How do you feel your experience in the program will help you in the future?
My experience in the program helped me recognize what my leadership style was, how to communicate effectively, and how to build teams. I’ve also met incredible people in ROTC who have shaped my ambitions and will be likely be good mentors to me for a long time. Whether I stay in the Army after my initial four year commitment or not, the lessons I’ve learned and people I’ve met will help me in the coming years.
5. Any advice for the upcoming ROTC cadets?
My advice for upcoming Cadets is to maintain balance between ROTC and the college experience, have fun with it, and understand that the program is helping you grow in ways you will not realize at the time. Discipline, time management, and interpersonal tact are just some of the invaluable traits you develop in ROTC that will make you a better student and set you up for success in any career path. Stay the course and go Army!!