Being a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program requires commitment and dedication. The college life that cadets have is different than that of an average college student. Cadets don’t have the luxury of hitting the snooze button on their alarmclock at 10:00am; or sitting around in their sweats all day. ROTC cadets give up those luxuries in order to receive the training and knowledge they need to succeed as an officer serving the United State of America.
A typical Thursday for a cadet consists of preparing the UOD (Uniform of the Day), attending LLAB (Leadership Laboratory), attending class, going to work, studying, and socializing. Whether the UOD is blues, service dress, or ABU’s (Airman Battle Uniform), cadets need to make sure that they’re wearing the uniform properly and looking sharp. This might consist of last minute lint rolling or cable checking. Once their uniform is complete, they’re on their way. Once at LLAB, they’re required to be aware of their surroundings and exercise situational awareness. This means greeting Cadre and POC when necessary, and paying attention to the lesson. Paying attention doesn’t just mean applying 50% and going through the motions. One of the Air Force core values is excellence in all we do. This means participating in LLAB and putting forth 110%, even if the lesson is simple and seems easy.
After dismissal, cadets go on about their day as a college student. This could mean grabbing some breakfast with fellow cadets and students, making their way to the Library for some extra studying, or hustling to class. The whole day, they should present themselves in a professional manner because they are in uniform. They are not only representing Detachment 685, they are also representing the United States Air Force. It’s beneficial for cadets to exercise situational awareness in case there’s a time when they pass a POC or Cadre member. It’s their job to know the proper greeting for the time of day, and when to render a salute. This should all become natural after they have worn the uniform awhile and practiced their salutes.
After 1700 cadets can take a breather and relax a little. This is the time they can go back to their dorm room or apartment; change out of their uniform and change into normal clothes. This doesn’t always mean that the cadets are done with their ROTC duties. Most of the cadets are involved in extracurricular activities or jobs within and outside of the detachment. Cadets also put in extra hours working out at Dixon Recreational Center, this helps with their fitness overall and meeting the Air Force fitness standards. As you can see, being an Air Force ROTC cadet takes commitment and dedication. This makes them stand out amongst their peers and have a different sense of responsibility and commitment.