In the last couple weeks I have had a few of the cadets in the freshman class call me and tell me that they were sick and that they couldn’t attend class or lab or PT. Here’s the deal…that’s fine with me…I have explained that there is an attendance component to my grading system, and that missing class could affect the final grade. You have paid your tuition, so if you want to spend the semester in your room feeling sorry for yourself because you have a tummy ache it’s up to you. When you go away to college you assume a lot more personal control over your daily schedule. The responsibility to get out of bed falls on you, instead of whoever got you up to get on the bus to go to high school. If it was me spending that much money for the opportunity to learn and earn a diploma (and get a commission) I would be in an ICU before I would miss a class.
I think this is one of the things that sets ROTC apart from the Academies. The structure of the academies limits the choices you have to make on a daily basis. The ROTC cadet has to show a little more motivation and responsibility earlier in the process.
One last thing…in the 20 some years I have been in the working world I can’t remember a time when i called in sick. In the Army it was my sense of duty that made me drive around in the desert with a bad cold. It was desire to get paid that caused me to go to the mill, and work my shift even though I was feeling like crap.
OK, rant over…If you are one of the cadets that was sick, take this as a challenge, not as a criticism.