If you are a student considering a secular occupation, you are likely thinking about going to college, earning a living, finding a meaningful career, and so on.
If that’s the case, I’d like to recommend that you look into the ROTC programs in the U.S. Military.
What is the ROTC?
ROTC stands for “Reserve Officer Training Corps“. It is a college program that provides students with military training to prepare them to serve as military officers when they finish their college studies.
Students who are admitted to the ROTC program go to college like normal students and pursue college degrees as normal. My son Jonathan, for example, is studying for a degree in Criminal Justice, and my daughter Elizabeth will be studying Political Science.
In addition to regular college studies, however, ROTC “cadets” study ROTC courses designed to prepare them for leadership roles in the military. Outside of ROTC classes, cadets participate in physical training with other cadets on campus, as well as field exercises where they learn military skills. My son Jonathan is at Fort Jackson in South Carolina this weekend for such an exercise (see photo).
What do ROTC Cadets Receive?
When I went to college, I had to pay my own way. I had to work and save to pay for classes. I had to study to keep my grades up. However, I had no idea what I would be doing after I graduated. College life was fun and happy for me, but it was often stressful.
For an ROTC cadet, college life is very different. An ROTC scholarship pays a cadet’s full tuition and fees, includes a separate allowance for books, and monthly pay of up to $5,000 a year ($400 a month).
Even better, while an ROTC cadet is studying in college, he knows that as soon as he finishes his degree, he has a full-time career waiting for him. There aren’t many college students who can say that. Once a cadets service requirements are fulfilled, he may continue in a military career or leave the military for a civilian career–bringing all of the benefits earned through the ROTC program with him.
I am far from an expert on the detail of ROTC programs, but based on what I’ve seen in my son’s experience, I can highly recommend it for Catholic students. I recommend interested students get in touch with local recruiters–that’s what they’re for!
You can also read more on the ROTC pages for each of the different branches of the military below:
God bless your studies,
William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy