by Jewell Strock
Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” This verse emphasizes the values of those serving in the military and those training to serve, including here at Cedarville University.
ROTC is a college-based military commissioning program. ROTC focuses on leadership development, problem-solving, strategic planning and professional ethics. ROTC’s objective is to train men and women to graduate and become commissioned officers.
ROTC is divided into two courses: Basic Course for freshmen and sophomores and Advanced Course for juniors and seniors. Cedarville University offers two ROTC programs, for the United States Army and the United States Air Force. ROTC is open for all majors, but both branches have an immense need for science, technology, engineering, and math–STEM–and nursing majors.
ROTC has helped students during their time at Cedarville University, whether they are incoming freshmen or graduating seniors. ROTC also has a mentorship program, where all of the seniors pair up with two or three underclassmen and take them under their wing.
“We meet a few times a week, and they guide me through the struggles I have in my faith and in ROTC,” one freshman cadet said. “I am incredibly grateful for them, and they have impacted my life the most at Cedarville University.”
Community is a strong and vital aspect of ROTC. “One of my favorite things about the army is the community because you’re going through something that’s hard and challenging, or training that can be super hard,” said senior Moriah Barber. “And everyone understands what it’s like, and the morale is super high, and my closest friends are in ROTC with me. Going through hard situations together helps create a close bond.”
ROTC requires intense physical training, involving cardio, circuit, and strength training three times a week for those a part of the regular battalion. Cadets also have military science classes two days a week and a leadership lab that focuses on tactics every Wednesday.
ROTC has also helped those, such as Barber, grow in her confidence, teaching her how to be a leader, the importance and impact of teamwork, and increasing her overall fitness. “ROTC has helped me as a freshman to get into a routine and really focus on my priorities of work,” said a cadet.
ROTC teaches valuable life lessons and emphasizes the aspect of teamwork and picking up those around you by sharing your strength and motivation with them to finish what you both started. Confidence is also key. Even if one doesn’t know exactly what is going on, they know to keep their head up, be a leader, make a decision, to know why they’re doing it, and be confident in their decision, even if it’s not always the most perfect one.
ROTC has also helped students achieve a college degree, while also helping them financially through their four years. “It has certainly given me greater financial freedom since my school was paid for,” said senior Nathanael Lowe.
“I’d say ROTC is definitely worth it. Becoming a commissioned officer is much better than being an enlisted soldier,” said Lowe. “And while many students claim they don’t want to commit 4-6 years of their life to the military, they’ll likely be financially restrained for that long or longer trying to pay off school loans.”
“A lot of people are scared to join the military, and it’s super intimidating, but I say just do it. Anybody can join the army,” said Barber, “It’s such a huge family, and you’ll go through so many experiences and be a part of a team that you don’t experience in the civilian world.”
Jewell Strock is a sophomore International Studies major and a writer for Cedars. She enjoys drinking matcha and taking occasional walks.