[media-credit name=”Amanda Lewark” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]“Battalion! Attention!”

“Wildcats!”

These are the first commands a cadet hears with Weber State University’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Course. The ROTC program takes a college student from a civilian to an Army officer in four years. Individuals involved in this program will have many different military classes, labs and exercises during their time at WSU.

Not only are there benefits of becoming a leader with ROTC, there is college tuition money involved as well. If individuals are not already in the Army Reserves or National Guard, once they contract as cadets, they can get scholarship money to finish up school. If they are already in the Reserves or National Guard, they can get out of deployments, finish up school and become Army officers.

“ROTC is a great opportunity,” said Lt. Col. Robert Bashein, the current commander of the ROTC at WSU. “Not only to serve, but also there are some great benefits for college tuition, and all kinds of benefits that come from being in the ROTC program. I tell the cadets that’s probably one of my biggest regrets (not commissioning as an officer with ROTC). I was in college and the National Guard and was told about it, but no one really sat me down and told me all the benefits of it. Whenever I got a letter about it, I just threw it away.”

Sergeant First Class Joel Molyneaux, the senior military instructor for ROTC, said on being cadre with the program, “I enjoyed being a drill sergeant, and I wanted a chance to instruct a different type of future Army soldier, other than just the privates. I was hoping these ones (cadets versus privates) would be smarter.”

ROTC could be an opportunity to gain relationships with command and fellow cadets. Students are involved together in activities such as field exercises, foot marches and other challenges associated with ROTC for the four-year term they serve.

Along with creating relationships and gaining leadership skills, the ROTC competes in an annual event. Teams of nine ROTC cadets participate in an event called “Ranger Challenge” every year, a competition between schools in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Different events included are a physical fitness test, land navigation, 10K foot march, marksmanship and a mystery test that the cadets don’t know about in advance. The Ranger Challenge creates a balance with the classroom work that cadets have to do as part of their officer training.

Students who are interested in joining the military and being a part of ROTC at WSU can find out more information by visiting their website at http://armyrotc.com/edu/weberstate/lifestyle.htm, They can also call them at 801-626-6518 or visit the Recruiting Operations Officers at 3103 University Circle.

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