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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

ROTC offers students professional opportunities

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Caleb Law | Courtesy Photo

Mississippi State University’s ROTC program teaches students valuable skills for their future.

 

What is Reserve Officers’ Training Corps? For anyone thinking about joining the army, ROTC is the way to go. Here on campus, Mississippi State University’s ROTC program is a way for students to be slowly introduced to the army in a better atmosphere than somewhere like boot camp. 
Alisha Irvine, ROTC MS IV Cadet Captain and senior animal and dairy science major, said MSU’s ROTC program provides a way for students to try military training before being totally thrown in.
“There’s a lot of training that we all go through that’s in a much nicer and more comfortable atmosphere than basic combat training or basic camp that contracted cadets need to go through,” Irvine said. “It’s a way for students to kind of test the waters before they dive on in head-first. We train everything from maintaining military bearing and customs and courtesies to how to react to contact, and conduct an ambush.” 
According to Irvine, there are currently 42 people contracted in ROTC, and they have a little over 70 in total on the army side. 
“I think ROTC is a great program and really teaches people how to step up and take charge and really enhances leadership abilities,” Irvine said. “It also really teaches you how to work with your peers and become a team.”
Brian Locke, professor of military science at MSU, said the ROTC teaches students a lot of great skills.
“Army ROTC teaches leadership and discipline, management techniques, cultural awareness and problem solving,” Locke said. “Those who participate in Army ROTC and subsequently serve as Army officers develop leadership and managerial skills that last a lifetime.”
Locke said army officers are responsible for leading and training enlisted soldiers, planning missions and organizing the internal and external affairs of the army. They are also entrusted with the welfare, morale and professional development of the soldiers under their command. The Army commissions only the most qualified and talented men and women.
“Newly-commissioned second lieutenants have responsibilities that far exceed those of most new college graduates,” said Locke. “They routinely shoulder responsibility for training, inspiring and leading more than 30 soldiers–but are also expected to be America’s diplomat in demanding overseas environments.”
Locke is a product of the Army ROTC program and has been an active duty army officer for 22 years. 
“The experiences I’ve had during those years are a direct result of my decision to join ROTC,” Locke said. “If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would gladly do so.”
Caleb Law, Cadet Battalion Commander of ROTC, encouraged others to join ROTC.
“I entered the ROTC as a brand new freshman, and it’s hands-down an outstanding decision to make,” Law said. “You get huge scholarships that pay up to four years of college, and it’s a great way to develop yourself as a leader.”
Law was given the opportunity to go to Jungle School in Africa and had the chance to do military intelligence at the Pentagon.  
To get into ROTC, students must pass an Army Physical Fitness Test with a score of at least 180, but the higher the score is, the better. One must also have a 3.0 GPA, a minimum of 30 college credit hours and at least two recommendation letters to be able to get a scholarship. 
“The hardest requirement is having to pass the army PT test,” Law said. 
Students may visit www.armyrotc.msstate.edu if they are considering joining the ROTC and would like to know more.

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ROTC offers students professional opportunities