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Purdue University Army ROTC

A Department within the Division of Student Affairs

 

2011-2012 Senior Cadet Profiles

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Ankrom, Gina

Ankrom, Gina
  • Hometown: Beaver, Pennsylvania
  • Major: Psychology/Military Science and Sociology
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: I love watching all different kinds of movies, cooking and then eating, and bedazzling anything and everything I can.
  • Why Purdue: I was looking for the ultimate college experience and Purdue was an obvious choice. I loved the gorgeous campus, the great traditions, and the excellent Psychology program. Also, it’s hard to beat the reputation of Purdue Army ROTC. It was an easy choice.
  • Why Army ROTC: I have wanted to be in the Army since day one. I have always admired the importance the Army places on teamwork and always being at your best. This is a career that will never get boring an always keep challenging you. Then when I realized all of the opportunities that ROTC provided it was too good to pass up.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Never quit. This journey is going to challenge you in many different ways, but always remember it will make you better in the end. When things start to get hard just keep going, you will be surprised at all you can do.
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Buschmann, Ian

Buschmann, Ian
  • Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Major: Interdisciplinary Science - Biology
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Exercising, reading, solo sports, listening to music, playing video games
  • Why Purdue: Best school in Indiana, close to home, offered the most money.
  • Why Army ROTC: If I have the capability to go further and do more, then why shouldn't I? And if I don't, why can't I try?
  • Advice to New Cadets: CWST: if you don't like water, and chose the Army because you thought you could avoid it, it might be time to take up swimming. Also, don't just know the Army Values, LIVE the Army values. Understand what each one not only means, but also what they DEMAND. Each one begets the other, so to truly have one means to truly have all and to lack one means to have none.
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Clettenberg, Brian

Clettenberg, Brian
  • Hometown: St. John, Indiana
  • Major: History
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Jumping out of planes, shooting, wakeboarding, watching movies, and hanging out with friends and family.
  • Why Purdue: It is a great school and it’s pretty close to home.
  • Why Army ROTC: I want to become an officer so I can help my career goals in the private sector.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Thousands and thousands of Cadets just like you have done the same training in the past. Keep your head up and remember that this training is for your benefit in the long run.
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Gilmore, Aaron

Gilmore, Aaron
  • Hometown: Twenty Nine Palms, California
  • Major: Management
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Movies, listening to music, sports, especially Chicago sports teams (Cubs, Bears, & Blackhawks), running, swimming, exercising, family and friends.
  • Why Purdue: I really loved the campus and the environment seemed very relaxed and fun. I live in Indiana, so I needed to stay in state, and Purdue was by far the best option for me.
  • Why Army ROTC: I was always interested in joining the military and when I came to talk to the ROTC, I also talked to the national guard people and I realized that they could pay for my school and I could become an officer in the active army, when I graduated. They definitely offered the best benefits and had the most jobs to choose from, so I knew that it was the best choice for me.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Work hard and manage your time wisely. You will think that your first few years are tough and you may not like ROTC, but the payoff at the end is worth it. Keep working hard and you'll make it through.
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Gressel, Brian

Gressel, Brian
  • Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Major: Civil Engineering
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Running, shooting, watching movies, listening to music, the Cincinnati Bengals, and hanging with family and friends.
  • Why Purdue: I wanted to go to a big school and Purdue has a good engineering program and a great environment.
  • Advice to New Cadets: I've known that I wanted to be in the military for some time and ROTC offers me a way to do that and earn a college degree at the same time.
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Grealish, Austin

Grealish, Austin
  • Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
  • Major: Chemical Engineering
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Body building, running, playing guitar.
  • Why Purdue: I always had an interest in math and science, and after some searching I found that Purdue's engineering program was the one I wanted to be a part of.
  • Why Army ROTC: My brother attended West Point and I saw all the personal, academic, and financial benefits he was receiving through the military and realized that commissioning as an Army Officer was the path I wanted to follow as well.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Ask questions and learn from older cadets. Learn to balance ROTC, academics, and your social life to get all you can out of college.
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Hutchinson, Andrew

Hutchinson, Andrew
  • Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Major: Mechanical Engineering
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Driving, Watching movies, hanging out with friends, riding bikes, and sports.
  • Why Purdue: Close to home, Great Engineering School, and overall good campus.
  • Why Army ROTC: Opportunity to serve a great nation, skills learned that's applicable to general living, and was always interested in joining.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Keep an open mind, don’t be afraid to ask questions, take initiative, strive to always get better, and be honest with your peers and yourself, admit to your own weaknesses.
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Lawson, Clay

Lawson, Clay
  • Hometown: Thorntown, Indiana
  • Major: Agricultural Economics
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Snowboarding, playing guitar, listening to music, fishing, hunting, off-roading (in nothing else but a Jeep), shooting guns, farming, and having a good time with friends and family.
  • Why Purdue: Purdue has one of the nations top agricultural programs. Both of my parents are Purdue University alumni, and its only 30 minutes from home. Purdue was a no brainer for me.
  • Why Army ROTC: I have always felt the need to repay the country that has given my family and I so much. And being in the Army gives a person the opportunity to do and see awesome things that the average person never will.
  • Advice to New Cadets: GPA and Physical Fitness. If you maintain a high GPA and continually improve your physical fitness the Army will be your oyster.
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Lome, Spencer

Lome, Spencer
  • Hometown: Buffalo Grove, Illinois
  • Major: Computer Engineering
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Building computers, electronics, fencing
  • Why Purdue: I came to Purdue primarily because of the great reputation it holds for excellence in Engineering and felt it was the place to go to succeed.
  • Why Army ROTC: I had been interested in the military ever since I was a child from hearing Coast Guard stories from my father. My desire to lead rather than follow led me to the opportunities presented by Army ROTC. I also wanted to earn my degree early on, so being able to be a student while going through ROTC to become an officer knocks out two birds with one stone.
  • Other Things of Interest: Went to the Junior Olympics for fencing (sabre) in 2008. Have built 6 (plus or minus) computers from parts alone. Interned full time at a soldier manufacturing company in the IT department.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Come into the program motivated to learn and experience new things. Ask questions and experiment -- it's okay and expected to not know everything! Plan ahead and don't slack on your academics the first year; whether you're an engineer or a liberal arts major, it will only get harder!
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Meidinger, Justin

Meidinger, Justin
  • Hometown: Brownsburg, Indiana
  • Major: Accounting
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Watching sports, playing football, basketball, and ultimate Frisbee, fantasy football, working out, listening to music, being outdoors.
  • Why Purdue: I fell in love with the campus and atmosphere on my first visit.
  • Why Army ROTC: I want to gain the experience of being a leader in the US Army.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Stick with it through the tough days. The lessons and skills you will learn last a lifetime, and the friendships you make are more than worth the effort.
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Oskam, Hans

Oskam, Hans
  • Hometown: St. John, Indiana
  • Major: History
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Hanging out with my friends. I am a huge sports fan and am constantly watching ESPN and keeping up to date on everything that is going on. I am just enjoying life right now and seeing where it takes me.
  • Why Purdue: Purdue is recognized worldwide as one of the best schools. Having a degree from Purdue University is instantly recognizable by employers. Also I have lived in Indiana for most of my life and the distance to Purdue from my house was not to far but far enough.
  • Why Army ROTC: I always talked about joining the military when I was younger. In 2009 I enlisted in the National Guard. When I returned from basic training I knew I had an even stronger desire to stay in the Army and I saw my potential as a future leader. Joining the ROTC has been one of the biggest but one of the best decisions of my life.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Stay on top of your grades early. It is very difficult to make up for mistakes in your early years. Use all help available to you and it never hurts to ask a professor for help. They are there to help.
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Pishkur, Alex

Pishkur, Alex
  • Hometown: Michigan City, Indiana
  • Major: Criminal Justice with a minor in Forensic Science and Military Science
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Golfing, watching movies, hanging out with friends, running and working out, video games. I love going on random adventures and trying new things. My family is very important to me.
  • Why Purdue: I had a hard time figuring out what school was best for me. I chose Purdue because it was close to home, I had several friends who chose Purdue, and I saw it had a great ROTC program. My freshman year I didn't think I liked Purdue and thought of transferring, but I stuck it out and realized it was the place for me. I've loved every minute and the people I've met.
  • Why Army ROTC: Initially I wanted to join the military straight out of high school, however I realized I wanted to continue my education now rather than later. I also realized I wanted to train to become a leader instead of a follower. ROTC allowed me to go to college, with limited costs and at the same time do what I’ve always dreamed of, serving my country.
  • Advice to New Cadets: One regret I have is not being more involved, not just in ROTC, but school in general. Also, always ask questions! Strive to learn something new every chance you get; it will help down the road. I'm sure you've heard it before, but enjoy every minute of college and the next few years, they truly do go by fast.
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Rausch, Noah

Rausch, Noah
  • Hometown: Winamac, Indiana
  • Major: Wildlife Management
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Running, hunting, fishing, experiencing new people and things, and always pushing myself to find out what I am capable of.
  • Why Purdue: I have always wanted to come here to follow in my parents footsteps and has a great ROTC program.
  • Why Army ROTC: Wanted to become and officer to better myself and to be able to lead and develop others.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Always strive to do better and enjoy your time here its a great learning experience. Also never be afraid to seek help from those around you the minds of others is one of the greatest assets available to you.
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Reed, Heather

Reed, Heather
  • Hometown: Cedarburg, Wisconsin
  • Major: Economics; Marketing & Management
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Running, yoga, learning, anything artistic, hockey and football, meeting new people, spending time with family and friends, and being outdoors as much as possible.
  • Why Purdue: I fell in love with Purdue and felt Army ROTC was right for me. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have been given to make a difference.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Always be open to learn new things, push yourself beyond your limits, and have fun in everything you do.
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Risi, Thomas

Risi, Thomas
  • Hometown: North Massapequa, New York
  • Major: Industrial Engineering / Military Science & Leadership
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: I love my family and friends. Working hard toward my goals, living a healthy lifestyle and enjoying every minute of it. I love exercising and challenging myself.
  • Why Purdue: Purdue is one of the top engineering schools in the world. When visiting the school, I was very impressed with the campus and the positive energy of the students.
  • Why Army ROTC: I always wanted to do something incredible, and I could not think of anything better than serving my country with pride. Education is very important to me, and earning a degree is a goal of mine. I felt at home with the Army more than any other branch, so the choice to join ROTC was a no-brainer.
  • Other Things of Interest: I enjoy watching all kinds of movies and my favorite television show is Seinfeld.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Find a balancing point between ROTC and academics. Put as much time into both while maintaining a social life. Get involved in ROTC right away - join clubs and volunteer for events. Take the initiative to ask questions and learn as much as you can in order to set yourself up for success. It will get tough at times, but maintain your focus and you will see yourself grow right before your eyes.
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Rueger, Brandon

Rueger, Brandon
  • Hometown: Evansville, Indiana
  • Major: Law and Society
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Church/Christian, working out, ultimate Frisbee, disc golf, dancing, and being with friends.
  • Why Purdue: My best friends decided they were going to Purdue, so I was like I should go also. They ended up moving after the 1st semester and I stayed. I am extremely happy with my decision and would have not had it any other way.
  • Why Army ROTC: I never planned on going into the military until my 2nd semester of my freshman year in college. I decided that I wanted to do something adventurous and build my leadership skills.
  • Advice to New Cadets: It's going to be as fun as you make it. Join at least one ROTC club and start taking advantage of things in the ARMY that you typically wouldn't be able to do as a civilian. Stay on top of your grades especially in the beginning so getting your GPA up towards the end isn't so hard.
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Scott, Matthew

Scott, Matthew
  • Hometown: Muncie, Indiana
  • Major: Animal Sciences Productions Management
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Church & family.
  • Why Purdue: My father, mother, and sister all attended Purdue University. It is the only college I've wanted to attend and it has a great agriculture program.
  • Why Army ROTC: I've always wanted to be in the Army ever since I saw Rambo. My cousin and I always talked about being in the military. He's a non-commissioned officer and I have always wanted to be an officer and lead others.
  • Other Things of Interest: I was a 10-year 4-H member, Eagle Scout, ran track for 4 years, and cross-country for 3 years. I enjoy working with animals and spending time with family and friends. I went through basic training and Infantry AIT during the 2010 summer.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Always keep your head up, learn from your mistakes, trust in God and move forward with the mission. Army ROTC is a great opportunity to learn to lead others and gain confidence.
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Selman, Annissa

Selman, Annissa
  • Hometown: Trabuco Canyon, California
  • Major: Nursing
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: I love volunteering. My passion is helping others, whether they want it or not. I also love doing anything with my friends. You only get to live once - why not enjoy it?
  • Why Purdue: Purdue has a great nursing program. I was also enticed by the rich culture that surrounds Purdue. You can't get anything like this at home.
  • Why Army ROTC: I always liked the idea of giving back. I want to give something back to a country that has given me so much.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Believe in yourself! If you know what you want to do, then you can get there as long as you have the determination to do it.
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Staley, Elijah

Staley, Elijah
  • Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Major: Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Collecting and shooting weapons, watching movies, enjoying the company of good friends.
  • Why Purdue: Purdue offered me a scholarship and I was interested in engineering.
  • Why Army ROTC: I've always wanted to be an officer, so ROTC was the way to go.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Have fun, enjoy your college life, but don't slack on academics. And get out there and do something, Purdue, West Lafayette, and Lafayette have a lot to offer.
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Stancy, William

Stancy, William
  • Hometown: Saint John, Indiana
  • Major: Law and Society/Military Science and Leadership
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Just about anything related to the Army, learning new things that interest me as well as learning how things work, being active and playing just about any sport for the fun not the politics which normally comes with coached organizations, and spending time with my fiancé Sarah.
  • Why Purdue: Originally I choose Purdue for the engineering program but soon found out that my interests were no longer around that knowledge base as they once were during high school. Also, I came to Purdue for the Army ROTC program and if it weren't for the truly amazing program that we have here at Purdue I probably would have transferred somewhere closer to home.
  • Why Army ROTC: I knew early on that I wanted to be in the Army, as such that I joined the Indiana Army National Guard while still in high school. Around the time of enlisting I knew I wanted to be a leader and I knew I wanted to receive an education so Army ROTC instantly sparked my interest.
  • Other Things of Interest: The Army is my life and I love every second of it. I cannot wait to begin a life long career as an officer in the greatest army the world has ever seen.
  • Advice to New Cadets: "Popularity is not Leadership," what is right may not be the consensus of the group but it is those decisions that make you stand above the rest. Do the right thing and do it always, even when nobody is watching. The men and or women under your command should take precedence over yourself at all times. Develop them and make them stronger leaders then yourself, give them the tools to succeed and spread your knowledge to them at every chance you get. Be that leader and take the initiative at all times. "The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it."
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Stiegler, Spencer

Stiegler, Spencer
  • Hometown: Carmel, Indiana
  • Major: Political Science
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Hunting, fishing, guns, NRA, diesel performance, bodybuilding, reading, traveling, American history, dogs, and my Christian faith.
  • Why Purdue: I chose to attend Purdue in order to receive both a world-class education as well as an Army commission from one of the best universities in the world.
  • Why Army ROTC: It's been my dream to serve my country and to lead troops victoriously in the defense of the beloved freedom that Americans enjoy for generations to come.
  • Other Things of Interest: I graduated from Carmel High School in 2008 and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Remain steadfast in your pursuit of your goals and your dreams. Strive to improve yourself in all areas. Remain motivated at all times. Never Quit!
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Teninty, Benjamin

Teninty, Benjamin
  • Hometown: Lafayette, Indiana
  • Major: Religious Studies/Jewish Studies
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Drumming, Video Gaming, Officer's Christian Fellowship
  • Why Purdue: I've lived in Lafayette for the last ten years, so Purdue has been a part of my life for a long time, whether I liked it or not! When it came time to go to college, Purdue was the closest and clearly the best choice for me.
  • Why Army ROTC: I made the decision when I joined the military to work towards becoming an Army Chaplain, but I hadn't been to college yet. Army ROTC seemed like the best choice for me.
  • Other Things of Interest: I was homeschooled for all but my last two years of high school, my father is a Master Sergeant in the National Guard, and I've been married since September of my freshman year.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Pay attention in classes! You'd be surprised how easy classes can be if you just pay attention and put away your smart phones and laptops... Also, time management!
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Trueblood, Elijah

Trueblood, Elijah
  • Hometown: Attica, Indiana
  • Major: Wildlife
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: My Fiancée Sonya, Hunting, Shooting, Riding ATVs, playing Xbox, camping, woodwork, electronics, explosives.
  • Why Purdue: Its half an hour from my hometown and my father and sisters attended before me.
  • Why Army ROTC: It is my duty to the nation to serve in the military. I was going to enlist but realized that God has given me a lot of ability in leadership. This was a perfect way to develop my leadership and serve my nation at the same time.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Work hard in all you do. Especially work hard at your academics it is a crucial part of your ROTC career. Stay motivated and above all have fun.
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Weckenbrock, Kevin

Weckenbrock, Kevin
  • Hometown: Guilford, Indiana
  • Major: Health and Fitness
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Cliff jumping, skiing (snow and water), quad riding, watching movies, listening to music, and hanging with family and friends.
  • Why Purdue: I came to Purdue kind of on a whim out of high school and I couldn't be happier with my decision.
  • Why Army ROTC: I joined the National Guard out of high school and wanted to get an education before being deployed so I came to school and decided that I wanted to be a leader.
  • Advice to New Cadets: It's not as bad as you think it is. Keep your head high and dream big.
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Wilkinson, Alex

Wilkinson, Alex
  • Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Major: Geology & Geophysics
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: Running, shooting, listening to music, reading, camping, hiking.
  • Why Purdue: Purdue is an excellent school with a great school of science
  • Why Army ROTC: I wanted to be in the army since I was little and this seemed like my best option.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Show up early to everything, volunteer a lot, and make friends with all the other cadets.
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WIsehart, Keegan

WIsehart, Keegan
  • Hometown: Mahomet, Illinois
  • Major: Health & Fitness
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: I enjoy all things fitness. A good workout always puts me in a good mood hence why my major is in the field. I'm a big fan of football (college over professional any day). I love to have a good time sitting around perhaps on a balcony, porch, or bar top sipping on a cold beverage just talking. Life can't get much better when you combine all three: good friends, good food/drink, and a good time.
  • Why Purdue: I bleed old gold and black. My entire immediate family has attended or will graduate from Purdue. I loved everything about this place even before I knew there was a stellar AROTC program as well. It was just icing on the cake.
  • Why Army ROTC: When I was younger I always thought joining the military would be something I may enjoy. All the movies and commercials (the marine climbing the mountain and then killing the dragon got me really good), they were all pushing me in that direction. When I discovered ROTC, I thought that could be a perfect fit. Go to college and enjoy life while also preparing and training to be one of America's finest, what more could you ask for? I was nervous the first day, but I've been lucky that I have found my niche. I love it, and I can't imagine doing anything different.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Go hard early and often, academically, physically, and socially. It's hard to work from a hole, so work hard to keep your grades up cause a low GPA is a killer later on. Physically push yourself. Be disciplined to go workout on your own and strive to be the best. It's a reflection of your character especially with what we do as future commissioned officers. Finally, have fun. Go socialize with your fellow cadets and classmates. Life is too short not to enjoy so take every opportunity you get to get our there. You may be tired and warn down sometimes, but you can always look back and say, "Wow, look at all I've accomplished." Plus, you can always sleep when you're dead.
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Wright, Christopher

Wright, Christopher
  • Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina (Grew up in Lafayette, Indiana)
  • Major: Law and Society
  • Hobbies, Interests, Passions: I love sports, music, but above all else I enjoy serving my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the way I live, speak, act, and plan my future.
  • Why Purdue: Purdue was a good choice for me because I felt like it was where God was leading me. I only had two choices for college, and the other had offered me a soccer scholarship. I turned it down because I felt God leading me to Purdue so I could be close to family, friends, and receive a good education in Law Enforcement.
  • Why Army ROTC: I have always wanted to be Law Enforcement of some sort or be military. When I came to Purdue, I saw a way to pursue both. I could not resist.
  • Other Things of Interest: I was captain for 2 varsity sports, soccer and basketball, in high school not because of my talent but because of my work ethic. My real talent is in music. Music runs in my family and I am proficient at piano, singing, and bass guitar.
  • Advice to New Cadets: Ask questions of upper classmen. Don't see ROTC as a task. See it as a stepping-stone, and if you can see it like a stepping-stone then it will take you to levels you really didn't think you could reach in your career and in confidence. You are going to be part of the less than 0.5% of the American population that are an American officer and soldier. Be proud of that.
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