Your campus, Your story
We see them around various parts of Central Michigan University amongst the swarms of other students – on the field during the football games, walking around campus and even in classes.
These are the students of the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
ROTC is a leadership program that is a part of the CMU curriculum. The program focuses on preparing students for the Army by training them into becoming courageous leaders in order to defend our nation.
When encountering an ROTC student in their military uniform we are sometimes oblivious of how the uniform represents their unified service. The uniform is bold and sometimes intimidating, however, due to selfless duty, it displays another meaning.
To give you insight, we had the chance to interview ROTC and elementary education sophomore, Courtney Bonneau.
Grand Central Magazine: How does it feel when wearing your uniform on and off campus?
Courtney Bonneau: What I feel is pride! To be honest I actually feel more comfortable in my uniform, however I would prefer to wear civilian clothes in public and around other civilians.
Wearing it [on and off campus] is okay, but it can be threatening. There are times where I get dirty looks from people, which is uncomfortable. It bothers me because we dedicate our time to serve and protect this nation in order to grant freedom. However, the looks don’t override the unified feeling of being a part of something that is bigger than myself.
GC: What does the uniform mean to you?
CB:The uniform means more to me than just wearing a uniform.
It is a uniform that fills me with pride, bravery and courage.
This uniform is a symbol of soldiers that have risked their lives for freedom and I am proud to say I am part of the 1 percent. Wearing the military uniform encourages me to live the Warrior Ethos and Seven Army Values.
I will always place the mission first
I will never accept defeat
I will never quit
I will never leave a fallen comrade
7 Army Values:
Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.
CB: I am proud and thankful to be part of something that is so unifying. This uniform continues to give me strength and the ability to do anything that I set my mind to. ROTC is what provided me the opportunity to attend CMU and has affected my life greatly. With that in mind I am now living my life to the fullest.
GC: What is your personal style outside of ROTC?
CB: My personal style really depends on my mood and what I am feeling that day. I have my laid back days composed of sweats and other days where I take time and style up.
The clothes I feel the most confident in wearing are dresses, skirts and blouses.
GC: How has the military affected your style?
CB: My personal style used to feed off of mellow colors and subtle prints, but after a whole summer of Basic Training in my military uniform, my style has expanded.
Normally, I wouldn’t wear anything too spontaneous, but recently I started taking risks by experimenting with bright colors and patterns outside of my comfort zone. Now I adore polka dots, flowers, geometric shapes and surprisingly, animal prints.
Not only have I taken chances with my clothes, but also with my hair and makeup. I love to embrace my feminine style and I am okay with that.
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