Army Strong Stories are stories about Soldiers in the Army who want to share something about their experience.
Here are two Army Strong stories from college students who made the decision to join Army ROTC, and why:
The first Army Strong story is from Nichole Gallup, a Senior ROTC Cadet at SUNY Brockport. She will commission in May 2011:
I am a student in NYS and college was a worry for me. I did recieve a small scholarship from my college, so I figured I would worry about money later. However with no financial support from my family I found myself searching for jobs and ways to pay bills. I had heard about ROTC before, but was not sure of how it all worked. I met with our recruiter and he told me I could try ROTC without any military obligation after college. I thought, “ok why not?” So I started in spring semester freshman year. I ended up not really having time for it in my schedule, and dropped the course. The next semester however I had more time to try this course again and I fell in love with it. I however did not contract until fall semester of my junior year. During sophomore year I worked two jobs while doing school. I ended up going to LTC at Fort Knox and then contracted when I came home. I recieved a 5,000 dollar bonus and a scholarship offer for 2 years. I was pumped! I did not have to worry about money anymore, so I quit one job but continued with the other. After a while however I quit my other job and it was nice to be able to focus solely on school. With my bonus I was able to study abroad in New Zealand for three weeks over the winter, which I would have never been able to do financially without ROTC. The experiences and opportunities ROTC has offered to me are ones I will never forget and would never have had without this program.
This second story comes from James Bowman, a Cadet at The University of Southern California:
During my junior year of high school I first considered the idea of joining the military. Initially I was not set on any particular branch, but I was more interested in the Airforce and Army. I was planning on going to college so I began looking into ways to do both. I then went through the applications for AROTC, AFROTC, USMA, and USAFA. My parents had told me they would not be able to pay for my college, but since I wanted to join the military anyways the scholarship aspect was more of a bonus than a primary motive for seeking out ROTC.
Ultimately I chose Army ROTC and decided to join the Trojan family at USC. When I came into the ROTC program at USC, I came in never having addressed anyone as “Sir” in my life. I remember how strange it felt coming out of my mouth for the first time as I addressed my PMS. But now, I find myself comfortably addressing people I don’t even know as “Sir”. I think that change is a good analogy for the change I have experienced over the last four years. I came in as a shaggy haired kid who had know idea what this word “hooah” was that people kept saying.
Without a doubt, ROTC has been the single most defining aspect of my college experience. It is the one constant that has been with me as I progressed from a freshman to a senior. It has taught me valuable lessons and skills that I have been able to use in all realms of my life.
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