The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

From Hawk to Officer

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A senior’s reflection on ROTC

During my first week as a freshman in 2015, I remember nervously walking from my dorm room in LaFarge to the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Detachment 750 at around 5:45 a.m. before sunrise. 

Inside the building, I noticed many people dressed in blue Air Force uniforms and was intimidated. An upperclassman cadet started reading names from a list and we went outside into the parking lot. I did not realize it at the time, but I had taken the first steps of training to become an officer in the United States Air Force. I did not know that joining the Air Force ROTC Program at St. Joe’s would be the best decision of my life and now, looking back as a senior, I am truly humbled to reflect upon my experiences in the program. 

The ROTC program’s training regimen ranges from cadet-run Leadership Labs and Aerospace Studies classes taught by Air Force officers, to physical training and field training, which have allowed me to form long-lasting friendships across the country. 

Air Force ROTC has also allowed my fellow cadets and I to experience highs and lows as a team. We truly are a family and look out for each other. Although individuals are recognized in the program for different accomplishments, I have found that an individual’s success is largely the result of a team effort. 

Throughout my time in the ROTC Program, I have come to admire my superiors’ and peers’ dedication and willingness to serve others. Being a member of the U.S. Air Force is not simply a job. We feel called to serve in the military. We recognize that we may eventually have to sacrifice our comfort, safety and even our lives. Ultimately, the calling to serve in the military gives us purpose and unites us.           

As a freshman, I had doubts as to whether I could handle the Air Force ROTC workload on top of college courses. This program, however, has allowed me to experience unique opportunities, and develop values that will help me in the military and civilian life. 

Ultimately, I am thankful for my experiences in Air Force ROTC. I have had the opportunity to learn how to confidently lead and be an effective team member.     

Participating in this program is not always easy. At times, it is difficult to wake up early and I’ve made mistakes in the program. During the times when I feel overwhelmed, however, I remind myself of the commitment of my fellow cadets, the cadre at our detachment and those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This motivates me to push through the difficult times and gives me a sense of purpose. 

I urge everyone to reflect on their purpose and pursue their own unique calling.

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