From College to Officer: Army ROTC

CDT Richard Dolan chose Army ROTC as his path to becoming an Officer.

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CADET RICHARD DOLAN I went to military school when I was in the 7th and 8th grade. So I was pretty much on track for the Army since about that time. The Army R.O.T.C. is Reserve Officer Training Corps. When you come into R.O.T.C. you could either commission into the Army Reserve, the Army National Guard or Army Active Duty.

LTC JOSEPH PISHOCK Army R.O.T.C. is a process by which we take a college student who is interested in a career of service to the Nation and we give them the skills, the education and the training required to serve as an Officer in the United States Army. An officer is inherently someone who can turn their thoughts into someone else's action. That's not an easy skill to learn and certainly a very difficult skill to master. I'd submit to you that that's valuable in any career in any walk of life.

CADET RICHARD DOLAN My path into R.O.T.C. was straight from high school into college. I spoke with a recruitment officer here at St. John's University and he put me on track to get admitted to the school. So once I met the age requirements and the medical requirements I contracted into an active duty scholarship.

LTC JOSEPH PISHOCK For those who know that Army R.O.T.C. is what they want to do, then they have opportunities at the Freshman, Sophomore and as late as the beginning of their Junior year to compete for and earn an Army R.O.T.C. scholarship. If you're an Army Scholarship recipient then you're going to graduate college by and large debt free.

CPT DEXTER SMITH The other benefit just in my experience and what I see in the day-to-day life with the cadets is the discipline that's involved.

CADET RICHARD DOLAN Every day you're a cadet and every day you need to uphold the standard of a cadet and you need to understand that you are in the Army, you represent this program. However, you're not wearing the uniform every day. You get to make friends, you get to join clubs, you get to join Fraternities and Sororities. And when you graduate college, not only do you get your degree but you also get a commission in the United States Army.

LTC JOSEPH PISHOCK Graduates will commission into one of 16 different career fields, so these are the more conventionally known career fields such as the Infantry or the Armory. But there's other opportunities such as communications signal corp., chemical corp., engineers. Over the summer times contracted cadets have the opportunity to go to airborne school or air assault school.

CADET RICHARD DOLAN It was a big confidence booster being seventy-five feet in the air repelling out of a helicopter. When I learned Korean through the Army I got to actually go to Korea. You go to LDAC after your Junior year, it's the Leadership Development Assessment Course. They put you in different situations like you lead mock missions with peers, other cadets from Army R.O.T.C. and what that does is it evaluates you as a leader.

LTC JOSEPH PISHOCK The skill that Army R.O.T.C. gives you is that of leadership. How to run organizations.

CADET RICHARD DOLAN You have to be inspiring. You have to inspire your subordinates. You have to inspire your peers and sometimes you have to inspire your superiors as well. The bigger picture is after you finish your last year you get commissioned as an Officer into the Army. You are serving the nation.

LTC JOSEPH PISHOCK Army R.O.T.C. is available at 275 host universities around the nation. But that doesn't mean that you have to go to one of those 275 colleges because you can be enrolled at a nearby school and participate in Army R.O.T.C. which essentially expands our opportunities to over 1100 colleges and universities across the country.

CPT DEXTER SMITH If you're at a school that has an R.O.T.C. program go to the recruiters office, talk to the recruiters, say hey, how do I at least at minimum get signed up for the class. Now if you’re on a campus that doesn't have an R.O.T.C. program what you want to do is do some research, find the campus that has the closest R.O.T.C. program contact the recruiter and see how you can get enrolled in their program.

LTC JOSEPH PISHOCK As long as you have two years remaining in college, you've got a chance to participate in Army R.O.T.C. And this includes graduate students who may be working on a master’s degree or in some cases even a PhD.

CPT DEXTER SMITH It's a four year program but the first two years anybody can sign up and that’s what those first two years are for, to see if the Army and the Army R.O.T.C. program is for you.

CADET RICHARD DOLAN If you're thinking about going to college at all or you're thinking about going into the Military at all, then this is definitely a place to be.

LTC JOSEPH PISHOCK There's no really one type of person that it takes. Because we all bring something, we all bring a level of diversity. Because the Army comes from the nation, and it comes from every race and religion and walk of life across the nation – Army R.O.T.C. represents that as well.

CADET RICHARD DOLAN There was never a doubt in my mind that the Army was the right place to be. I'm Cadet Richard Dolan. St John's University, Army R.O.T.C.