Dutchwoman of the Week: Kate Kozain ’16

(Courtesy of Kate Kozain)

Hometown: New London, N.H.

Major: Neuroscience

Sport: ROTC


Campus Involvement: Kozain has served as the house coordinator of both Wold and Golub, played rugby, was in choir, was on Wold Council, was a member of German Club and is currently in ODK and Psi Chi, a national leadership honor society and national psychology honor society, respectively.

Q: When did you become interested in ROTC and what influenced you to join?

A: I became interested in joining during my junior and senior years of high school. My dad has been in the military for 20-plus years, but what really influenced me was my brother joining the military. I was initially interested in getting a medical degree, so I started looking for scholarships and came across ROTC. I wanted to work with veterans who have PTSD, so I thought ROTC would be a great way to connect with soldiers and to learn more about the military so I would be more able to understand who I wanted to be working with.


Q: How much of a time commitment is ROTC?

A: It can be anywhere from 30 hours a week to 70 hours a week. Seventy-hour weeks generally only happen when there’s weekend training. When I first started out with ROTC, there was weekend training a few times each term but now, I just have one in the spring and two in the fall — the ones in the fall were for ranger training. Normally, the commitment is between 30 and 45 hours, but it can vary, especially if it’s a crazy week with a lot of events.


Q: What are your favorite aspects of the program?

A: I feel like I’ve gained so many skills through ROTC. For example, I’ve gained better time-management skills, leadership skills and public speaking skills. I’ve also become much more adaptable and resilient just from having to do so many things at once. One of my favorite parts of ROTC is the mentoring aspect of it. I’m able to be a role model to the younger cadets; once, a cadet one year younger than me told me I was their role model and it was really special. It’s also a great opportunity to experience things that most people will not have the chance to experience in their lives. For example, right now I’m in charge of 32 cadets and I’m completely responsible for them. The opportunity to gain that kind of leadership and management experience at such a young age is pretty crazy.


Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I’ll be going active duty after I graduate. That means that the Army will be all-day, every day for me; it will be my life. I’m going to be a Medical Service Corps officer, and I hope to work in either healthcare administration or possibly training to become a medevac pilot. I’ll be in charge of a platoon, which is about 40 people, and my whole job will be to take care of each and every aspect of my platoon’s well-being. I’ll also be in charge of making sure we accomplish our missions and tasks.


Q: What would you say to someone considering joining ROTC?

A: I would tell them to talk to someone in the program in order to get a sense of what it’s all about. It’s a really big commitment, but you don’t have to start out spending 30-70 hours each week training when you begin. Eventually, you have to start putting that sort of time in but, at first, it’s a little more flexible. Also, it’s really important to understand how great of an opportunity ROTC is, and what you can learn from it.


Q: What is your favorite thing about Union?

A: My favorite thing about Union is the professors. Also, I’m a big fan of the trimester system. It makes it easy to be flexible with courses and it works really well with ROTC.


Q: What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

A: My favorite thing to eat on campus is macaroni and cheese from the Rathskeller.


Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in Schenectady?

A: I really like Tara’s Kitchen. Also, Marotta’s is great — they have great pasta. Jasmine Thai is great, as well.


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