CMU Students talk about the ROTC Program

Story by Hunter Dood

Central Michigan University offers a ROTC program for students. The CMU ROTC program also offers scholarships for students contracted into the program.

The goal of the program is to shape students into leaders, which will then translate into their future profession within the military or civilian life.

Georgia senior Jennifer Salinas is contracted into the ROTC program and has been involved with program for all four years at CMU. Salinas is the “Battalion Commander” in the program.

Jennifer Salinas: Battalion Commander in the ROTC Program. Photo by Hunter Dood.

Salinas knew she wanted to go the military route during high school, and the CMU ROTC program caught her eye.

“I was interested in the ROTC program and that was what made my final decision,” Salinas said.

Salinas said her role is to plan and oversee what is getting done. She is part of a team that ensures that the ROTC program is getting tasks done that they need to in order to stay a program.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Salinas

Grand Rapids sophomore Austin Schondel is in his second year with the ROTC program. Schondel is currently a Squad Leader in the program.

Schondel said that the schedule for an ROTC student can be tough and it puts “more on my [his] plate.” His schedule calls for physical training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m.

“Being ROTC adds more responsibility to my life,” Schondel said.

Austin Schondel: Squad Leader in ROTC Program. Photo courtesy of Austin Schondel

Students who are contracted into the ROTC program take two PT tests a semester, the students train during the semester in order to pass those tests.

Some students are given the opportunity to attend camps over the summer. There they have the chance to express their knowledge and leadership abilities that they have learned.

“We are fulfilling something greater than ourselves,” Salinas said. “The pride and honor that comes with doing something more than yourself is a good feeling.”

Schondel recommends that students who would be interested in pursuing the military to look into joining the ROTC program because it offers many benefits to the students.

Photo by Hunter Good

Both Salinas and Schondel want to go into active duty when they graduate. Salinas plans on becoming a 2nd Lt. in the Core of Engineers, while Schondel hopes to become a pilot.

“At times it can be overwhelming,” Salinas said. “But in the end, I’m working towards my goals that I have set, and it is a great feeling to see them come to fruition.”