Testimonials from Cadets
When I was a senior in high school I was not like all the other students around me. I had no idea what I wanted to do after high school. I always had the impression that I had to go to college to be successful. So I attended college for a year and decided to see what the Army had to offer. I joined the United States Army Reserve where my station became the 372 Engineer Company in Pewaukee, WI. After drilling there for six months, my superiors saw something special in my leadership potential. The Company Commander recommended me to enroll in ROTC here at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
The first step was to talk to the cadre here at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. They directed me to the simultaneous membership program (SMP) program. Through the SMP program I am able to train monthly at my unit in Pewaukee and attend ROTC here at the university. It was the best decision I have ever made! I am currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in Operations Management, all the while serving my country. Through UW-Oshkosh ROTC I was able to accomplish things I would have never had the opportunity to do. This past summer I went to Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA. While at the school I made five successful parachute jumps and earned my wings. This summer I will venture on to the next step in becoming an officer at, Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) getting me all the more closer to becoming a future leader in the United States Army.
I never thought of myself as a military person. The only family member with any military experience is my uncle, a Vietnam War veteran. I already have been attending UW-Oshkosh for three years as a nursing student before I joined ROTC. People thought I was crazy to join with no clue whatsoever about anything in the Army. But I knew I wanted to do it and I knew I could do it, plus I figured “Why not?”
I started my junior year of nursing school as an MSIII in the advance program of ROTC. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I knew I was dedicated and wanted to learn anything ROTC was ready to throw at me. I learned skills from land navigation to squad tactical movements. As a nurse, I knew that learning these things was not critical to my career in the army, but it is to the people I will be taking care of, and that motivated me to understand what was going on.
Now that I’m in my second semester, I’m getting serious about preparing for Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC). Although it is a lot of work considering I don’t have any experience, I am excited to go and meet new people from schools across the nation and to learn more about leadership. I know that when I leave ROTC and get commissioned as an officer, the leadership qualities I learn will carry with me into my nursing practice. Essentially a nurse has to have amazing leadership just like the officer, so it’s like a two in one learning process.
I have been interested in the military since I was very young. I joined the National Guard while I was a junior in high school. The summer before my senior year of high school, I attended Basic training. I couldn’t believe how much the military has changed me. I become more disciplined and mentally tough. I was accepted to UW Oshkosh during my senior year of high school. During a preview day I meet Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Sorenson, who explained me the options ROTC could offer me. That day I decided to join ROTC. I was rewarded a four year scholarship for college.
I am currently in my junior year of college and am still amazed with how many wonderful opportunities ROTC has given me. I have developed leadership skills that I will be able to use in the military and those skills will also set me apart about from my peers in the civilian workplace. This past summer I went to Ft. Benning, Georgia for three and a half weeks and completed airborne school. It was an experience I will never forget and I am very happy I was able to go and graduate from this school. Not many college students can say they jump out of airplanes as a job. I was able to complete the required five jumps. My family was even able to come watch me graduate; they are so proud of what I had accomplished.
I will be receiving my commission as a Second Lieutenant next year and I look forward to being able to serve my country and make a difference in my soldier’s lives.
When I graduated high school I did not know what I wanted to do for the future. In August of 2003 I decided to enlist into the Army. While in the Army I served in the 82nd Airborne Battalion as a mechanic and the Battalion Commander’s driver. While serving, I had the opportunity to observe the Army from the enlisted side of things as well as the Officer‘s side. Before getting out of the Army I decided to attend UW Oshkosh. I received a full 4 year scholarship from ROTC and I have been involved in the program since my freshman year.
ROTC is also an amazing opportunity to get school paid for by receiving a scholarship tuition and fees are paid in full 100% and I also receive a stipend from ROTC, as well as book money every semester. Another incentive for anyone who is prior military service, National Guard or reserves is receiving your GI bill on top of everything else. It is a wonderful way to take the financial burden off of the shoulders.
ROTC has helped me improve as a person and has taught me how to become a leader. I am learning to make decisions in tough situations and have a high level of confidence in myself. I have also had the opportunity to make some close, lifelong friends. I have spent the last 3 years with the same 5 people in class and will be with them for another. We have built great relationships inside and outside of ROTC. We are not just tied together by school but by the camaraderie of becoming an Army Officer. ROTC is and will be a time of my life that I will never forget.
My military career started when I was a senior in High School where I debated whether or not I wanted to go into the military or attend college. I enlisted into the Wisconsin Army National Guard, which allowed me to both serve my country and attend school at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
I enrolled into the ROTC course my first semester at UW-Oshkosh. After being in the program for a year, I decided that this was a route that I wanted to travel down. I then met with the cadre about contracting options and decided to contract under a scholarship. I was honorably discharged from the National Guard after serving for a year and a half.
After being in the program for three years now, I can say that ROTC is a very large commitment; however, it is worth it. From the FTX’s (Field Training Exercises) to the PT (Physical training) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; it has allowed me to develop my skills regarding time management, the balancing of numerous tasks and has helped to shape the person I am today.
Joining ROTC has helped me to realize the leadership capabilities that I possess. It has also allowed me to exercise my potential as a leader and has given me the opportunity to succeed as both a student and a cadet. Finally, ROTC has helped me build lasting friendships with other cadets whom I can now call my friends. Having the ability to effectively and positively influence those around you is a very strong quality to possess. For me, ROTC has developed this quality and has given me the opportunity to affect change and those around me as a future Lieutenant in the United States Army.