ROTC students balance student and military life

ROTC students balance student and military life
As you walk down the halls at UVU, seeing many students in military uniforms in not uncommon. This is because UVU has a Reserve Officers’ Training Corp as part of their curriculum. This program is one of the best in the country and offers students that are interested in serving in the Active Army, Army Reserve or the Army National Guard a step up.

Through the ROTC program, participants will develop self-discipline, physical stamina and poise in addition to organizational and motivational skills that will contribute to success in any later career position. In addition to the acquired skills, participants who graduate from the Army ROTC program will earn the bar of a Second Lieutenant.

Tyler Sander is currently participating in the ROTC program. Sanders is working on completing his first year of the four-year program.

ROTC - Courtesy of ROTC-web“Ever since I was little, the military has interested me,” Sanders said. “I wanted to make a career out of it by becoming an officer.”

Sanders chose the ROTC program over directly enlisting in the United States Army to avoid becoming a “grunt.”

For many students, the demands of college can be challenging, but for an ROTC student things can be even more so.

Sanders said that being an ROTC student was different than just being a normal student. His days begin at 6:30 a.m on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with a physical fitness class to stay in shape. He later participates in leadership classes that teach him navigation, military values, proper use of the uniform, how to lead troops through procedures and what is expected of him.

“I personally believe that the more you put into the program the more you will get out of it,” Sanders said.

Another way that Sanders said being an ROTC student is different than being a regular student is that time commitment for them and their families.

“We have to focus a lot of time on the ROTC program. It demands a lot from us, which sometimes conflicts with spending time with our families,” Sanders said. “It will also affect my future family if I chose to enlist. There will be the possibility of being deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq.”

Although the ROTC program may be strenuous, there are many benefits, such as learning to deal with high-stress situations. Sanders has implemented this characteristic during finals week.

“Finals week was easy for us because we’ve been already been through so much,” Sanders said.

Another reason Sanders enjoys the ROTC program so much is that it has helped him develop his character.

“I used to be really quiet and shy. I had a low self-esteem but after participating in the program I am now ready to take on life,” Sanders said.

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