It’s Worth It
Over my four years in this program I have learned things that will change my career and how I live for the rest of my life. I’ve learned the value of leadership, confidence, finding a good mentor, being a good mentor, and being friendly and accepting of everyone. I’ve met some amazing people and had learning experiences I will never have the chance to repeat.
When I entered this program, unlike the die-hard pilot wanna-bees, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the Air Force or if I even wanted to stay with the program. As I am sure many current cadets do, I felt like I should have things figured out. It is little known that you don’t have to know everything when you start, but it is important to research your options and ask around.
That aside, before I depart on my exciting new journey I want to remind the cadets of a few things:
You will always be asked to sacrifice. Your time, money, pride, and ultimately four (or ten) years of your life will all go to the greater good of the Air Force. Don’t focus on this; you will need to give some to get the training and experience you need from ROTC. Leadership is a responsibility and you are a leader in every aspect of your life.
Connecting with your Alumni is important. You will always go through your career with the camaraderie of your fellow OSU grads. Lean on them for advice and support in ROTC activities. The Alumni are a wealth of knowledge for your AF career. When you’re looking into career choices they are excellent people to talk to, this is what I did when I was looking at what I wanted to do.
Lastly, find a mentor. Find someone who you relate with and don’t let them go. Mentors are what helped me the most in ROTC. The most important one to me was Simmona Robinson, a transfer student whom I related with instantly when I met her. I still call her for advice and she is likely to stay a life-long friend because of this.
When all is said and done you might realize that sticking with ROTC was one of the best decisions that you’ve made. As long as you’re optimistic and keep your head up this experience is likely to continue for the rest of your career. I hope you all have the same great experiences as I did in ROTC and learn the hard lessons before it can have an impact on your career.
One final tip; never shoot your COC with a paintball, even if it is on accident and while he’s in uniform. You will never live it down!