Old Dominion University

Cadet Brett Madrigal

MS I

Hometown
Emporia, Kansas

High School
Forest Park High School, Woodbridge, Virginia

Academic Major/Class Year
International Studies ‘13

Why you chose to do ROTC?
To learn how to lead; and prepare myself for a career in the Army.

How has it better prepared you and how has ROTC shaped you as an individual?
ROTC has given me many opportunities to learn important leadership skills and has kept me physically fit.

Cadet Stevie Brooks

MS I

Hometown
Leavenworth, Kansas

High School
Leavenworth High School, Leavenworth, KS

Academic Major/Class Year
Political Science ’13

Why you chose to do ROTC?
To serve, defend and protect my country.

How has it better prepared you and how has ROTC shaped you as an individual?
It has helped to strengthen me mentally and physically pushingme to achieve new goals and develop greater leadership skills.

Cadet Jordann Kokoski

MS II

Hometown
Air Force Brat

High School
Homeschool

Academic Major/Class Year
Mathematics and Biochemistry ‘2012

Why you chose to do ROTC?
The opportunities for jobs afterward college as well as having a supportive community on campus.

How has it better prepared you and how has ROTC shaped you as an individual?
ROTC has given me discipline and a further sense of responsibility. It has helped to further develop my leadership and interpersonal skills. It has also helped to show where my strengths are and in what areas I can improve whether academically or otherwise.

Cadet Stefanie Cocchimiglio

MS III

Hometown
Patuxent River, Maryland

High School
Great Mills High: Great Mills, MD

Academic Major/Class Year
Nursing ‘11

Why you chose to do ROTC?
I want to be an Army nurse and help all those serving our country.

How has ROTC better prepared me?
It has given my confidence in being a leader and values to live by making me a stronger person and stronger student nurse.

Cadet Benjamin Huzzey

MS III

Hometown
Rexburg, Idaho

High School
Elkhorn High School, Nebraska

Academic Major/Class Year

M.A. Government/Graduate Student ‘11

Why you chose to do ROTC?
I enjoy challenging myself, and ROTC gives me the opportunity to challenge myself both physically and mentally while developing my leadership skills. 

How has it better prepared you and how has ROTC shaped you as an individual?
ROTC is preparing me to become a leader amongst the world's finest fighting force, U.S. Army Soldiers. In this leadership development process I am becoming a more well-rounded individual that will be well suited to face all of life's challenges in and outside of the military.

Cadet Aaron Simonsen

Fundraising Officer / MSIV

Hometown
Waynesboro, VA

High School
Stuarts Draft High School, VA

Academic Major/Class Year
Foreign Language ‘10

Why you chose to do ROTC?
I chose ROTC because I had 90 credits already and I did not want to stay a reservist.  They (my unit) offered me a commission back in 2007 as long as I stayed with them.  I was tired of transportation, I had already deployed as an NCO, and I wanted a career.  I could have gone to Drill Sergeant School but I chose to earn my bachelors degree and commission. 

How has it better prepared you and how has ROTC shaped you as an individual?
I have better time management skills and I feel like I have a better understanding of planning and operations on a larger scale.

Cadet Nicole Murphy

Senior Nurse / MSIV

Hometown
Virginia Beach, VA

High School
Brooke Point High School, VA

Academic Major/Class Year
Nursing ‘10

Why you chose to do ROTC?
It helped me pay for school and obtain my commission in the Army National Guard.

How has it better prepared you and how has ROTC shaped you as an individual?

It is definitely been a struggle to manage nursing school and ROTC, but LDAC and NSTP have both helped with my leadership and nursing skills/abilities.

Cadet Sean Fessenden

Battalion Operations Officer

Hometown
Omaha, Nebraska

High School
Forest Park High School, Woodbridge, VA

Academic Major/Class Year
Criminal Justice ‘10

Why you chose to do ROTC?
I chose to do ROTC because it seemed like the best choice for a career path, and they offered to pay for school.

How has it better prepared you and how has ROTC shaped you as an individual? 
ROTC has inspired confidence within me, giving me the ability to become a better leader.

Cadet Axia Jelderks

Battalion Executive Officer / MSIV

Hometown
Virginia Beach, VA

High School
Legal Studies Academy at First Colonial High School, Virginia Beach, VA

Academic Major/Class Year
Political Science ‘10

Why you chose to do ROTC?
I chose to do ROTC for the scholarship opportunities, the leadership experience, and the physical training.

How has it better prepared you and how has ROTC shaped you as an individual?
ROTC has prepared me for a leadership position in any capacity of my life. I have become more confident in myself and my capabilities. It shows in my classes, my family can tell, and I know that I have become a stronger person mentally and physically.

Cadet Jay Irwin

Battalion Commander / MS IV

Hometown
Columbus, Mississippi and 5 other states/ 6 total countries

High School

Yokota High School, Tokyo, Japan.

Academic Major/Class Year

BA International Relations; MA International Studies (concentration: American foreign policy) ‘10

Why you chose to do ROTC?

I chose to do ROTC because I love the military lifestyle: the service, traveling, and mission.

How has it better prepared you and how has ROTC shaped you as an individual?

ROTC has prepared me to step into new situations and allowed me to feel ready and confident to lead others immediately. As an individual ROTC has helped me:

- Academically, giving me the self-discipline and ability to prioritize what is needed to excel in the classroom.
- Physically, keeping me in good cardiovascular shape, increasing my muscle endurance, and fostering a healthy competitive environment which pushes me to constantly improve.
- Achieve my dream of attending flight school in order to become an aviator for the United States Army.