College and the Army Experience: Army ROTC

Officers talk about their cadets, experiences and unique roles in the ROTC program.

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I decided the best way to serve my country is to lead and the best way to do that is to go to college get an education and do it through ROTC. American Soldiers from all around the country are being led by Officers that have a whole variety of backgrounds, engineers, nurses, social sciences, those kind of people bring skills and diversity and education to the table that the Army needs.

They pay me to finish school and now they are paying me to fly aircraft and these are multi million dollar aircraft. I get helicopters once a month and my Cadets are on them. So they get used to the familiarity of understanding the complexities of dealing with multi million dollar equipment and aircraft so they are able to use it.

We're handing you the authority and responsibility of being in charge of 40 - 50 people and saying, "They're yours now. Their livelihood is your hands," and that is an awesome responsibility. A lot of the experiences -- like in terms of my personal responsibility here -- I'm going to continue that on as a platoon leader.

One of the greatest things besides confidence of self is the ability to lead under stressful conditions because that's what our young tactical Officers and leaders need. It's my job to prepare myself professionally and mentally and in every aspect to lead enlisted Soldiers and other lower ranking Officers as I move up.

The greatest part of my job is watching parents pin on the gold bar on the shoulders of that newly commissioned, newly minted second lieutenant. Because I know they are going out to serve our country and serve our soldiers. I am honored to be in the same boots and the same uniform as people who wear the uniform now.