Describe your experience. 

I have been in ROTC at the University of Richmond since my freshman year. During that time, I have had the opportunity to study abroad in France, attend the Basic Airborne Course at Ft. Benning, GA, be an active member in my fraternity — Kappa Alpha Order — and pursue a major in English.

Has it been challenging balancing ROTC and academics?

Balancing ROTC activities with academic work is no more difficult than balancing out other coursework here at Richmond. As a freshman, Army Physical Fitness Tests (APFT) and Field Training Exercises (FTX) might at first seem overwhelming, but I have actually come to enjoy and look forward to their challenges.

What have been some of your most memorable experiences? 

Very few college students have been to Airborne School and leapt from an aircraft at 1,250 feet; fewer still have received internship opportunities similar to those found in the Cadet Troop Leadership Training (CTLT) Program. This summer, through CTLT, I worked as a tank platoon leader assistant for 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) at Ft. Irwin, CA. Under the mentorship of a second lieutenant, I was responsible in assisting with the planning, executing, and supporting of a National Training Center (NTC) Rotation and for the maintenance and accountability of troops and equipment valued in excess of $10,000,000. With experiences like that, it is easy for me to see the benefits of ROTC.  

What's the most rewarding part of participating in the program?

While many of my classes here at Richmond have taught me a lot about ideas, concepts, and theories, in ROTC I have the opportunity to apply what I have learned in the classroom to a real environment with real people. I know that the value of these experiences in “hands-on” training will carry over into the civilian world when I leave the Army.  By placing a strong emphasis on both physical fitness and academic excellence, Army ROTC at the University of Richmond puts the “sound mind in a sound body” theory into practice — the result is a group of highly motivated, well-trained individuals who are prepared to serve their country in uniform. For me, the most rewarding aspect of ROTC is having had the good fortune to work with these individuals — both cadre and cadets — on a regular basis during my time at Richmond.

What's next?

As a four-year scholarship cadet, I will owe the Army four years of Active Duty time in exchange for my tuition, schoolbook money, and stipend. I am scheduled to be commissioned in May 2008 as a second lieutenant in Field Artillery. In the future, I plan to pursue my interest in English literature by working for my masters degree.