Name: Jeremiah Hencke, '10
Major: Undeclared
Activities: Rugby team

Tell us about your personal experience with Richmond’s ROTC program.

My experience with ROTC at Richmond has been a very positive one. I've done everything from volunteer work through the program to jumping out of airplanes. It's been an amazing experience so far, and I've still got two years left. ROTC has allowed me some amazing opportunities. I've been able to attend Army specialty schools, compete against other ROTC schools in the annual Ranger Challenge competition and learn what it means to be a United States Army Officer.

Is it hard to balance the program with schoolwork? How does it all work?

I haven't yet found it difficult to balance ROTC with the rest of my college work load. My current military science class only meets once a week, I have physical training twice a week, and twice a semester I am required to participate in weekend field training exercises (FTX). Occasionally things get a little tricky when my other classes slam me with work on an FTX weekend, but other than that everything fits together pretty well.

What's the most difficult part of being involved with this program?

The most difficult part of being involved with this program is learning to make your body and mind do that which does not come natural. In a real world Army environment, you don't sleep much, you don't eat enough, you're always dirty, you're always hot/cold, you're always tired, and you're expected to get up and move even when you're being shot at. It's rough to get used to the physical and mental demands that the real world Army environment can put on you, but it's essential. Even though it's difficult, it's still fun, and mastering it truly means something.

What is the most rewarding part of the program?

For me the most rewarding part of ROTC is getting back from a long weekend FTX and realizing that those three days I spent in the woods being cold and tired and hungry are actually making me into an effective Army officer.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to commission from Richmond's Army ROTC program as a Second Lieutenant and begin my career as an Army officer. It's likely that I'll stay in the military until I retire, but I haven't quite made up my mind about that.