Selfless Service

As usual I’m receiving emails from students this time of year asking about Army ROTC. Some of these emails have a common theme, and unfortunately I have a common response that they are probably not expecting. Here is some of what I have been receiving

looking to get as many benefits as possible

I’m interested in joining the ROTC, and earning a 2 year ROTC scholarship for graduate school.

Here is the problem. Scholarships are becoming harder to get. I’ve been doing this job for about 8 years, and I’m as good as anyone at getting our cadets as many scholarships opportunities as possible. Right now there aren’t a lot available, the Army is not looking to expand the force, and they are being more cautious about who gets an offer. Cap that off with as many students as ever looking for help paying for college, and there are going to be a lot of long faces when the offer doesn’t come through.

My response to all of these emails is come show us what you’ve got, and I’ll do what I can for you. If you aren’t applying through the national high school process, don’t expect a scholarship coming in. If you think you have what it takes you’re going to need to show up on campus, enroll in ROTC class, and show us you are serious about becoming an Army Officer. That doesn’t mean show up and try to blow sunshine up our *** until you get an offer, and then coast. I would be willing to bet most ROTC Battalions these days have room to be a little picky, I know we do here at Clarkson, so you are going to have to bring your A game.

Don’t let this discourage you if you want to become an Army Officer. Students are getting offers, and programs like SMP and GRFD are other ways to help pay for college through the military. Keep in mind too that you will have a job when you graduate, and it will not take long to pay off those student loans. Give it your best shot, come to school ready to do well academically, and plan to put your all into ROTC and some day you may be given the privilege to lead America’s Sons and Daughters as an Army Officer.

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