When thinking about the ROTC (reserve officer training corps) most people only think about the armed forces, becoming an officer, and the intense training that goes into being apart of the ROTC. However, there are a lot more than just wind sprints and sharp attires. There are many small aspects that are apart of the ROTC that most people do not consider. Being under the authority of somebody who is very close in age to you is one of them.
Cole Finnerty is a sophomore and is apart of the Air Force ROTC. Cole decided to join because his parents though it would be a good idea and good for his future. According to Cole, being in the ROTC is a, “love hate relationship. It is good because I know in the future I’ll have a stable, exciting job that I will like. It will give me good experience as well as a solid work ethic that will be valued for the rest of my life. However, it does take a lot of time out of my college experience. I do not get to do a lot of fun things that my friends are doing, which, at times, can be a bummer. Also, I find it hard sometimes to do well academically with all the work that is put into the ROTC.”
When asked about his relationship with his flight commander, Finnerty commented, “He is a really cool guy. He is only two years older than me, so he can relate to a lot of stuff I go through with the ROTC, as well as general life situations. It does not bother me to have to take orders from him.”
Another sophomore in the Air Force ROTC, Jake Gourd, had a different opinion, “It is very difficult for me to take orders from a man who is almost my age. I do not like getting yelled at or commanded by someone who is not at least 35, it just is not my thing, however, they are just doing their jobs”
Jake had to go through what is called “formal counseling” for missing an early morning meeting. When asked what formal counseling is exactly, Jake said, “It is just reporting in with our flight commanders and discussing the reasons for missing the meeting. It is rather obnoxious, but I should not have missed the meeting.” According to Jake you are, “…first counseled by a 300, which is a junior officer, and then if you miss again you are counseled by a 400, which is a senior officer, and any after that you have to meet with the cadre who is an actual person in the Air Force. You can only miss so many meetings before you are kicked out.”
Regardless of their difference in opinions, both Jake and Cole reap the benefits of being in the ROTC for the Air Force. If you are interested in joining the Air Force ROTC, walk in hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 1-3:30 pm at the Nichols Center, room 243. Also you can call for an appointment at (334) 844-4355.