Military Schools- Air Assault
Cadet Mark Pires (MS3)
"Immediately after high school, I enlisted in the Army National Guard as a 91C (Utility Repairman). After I attended a local community college in my area, I transferred to West Chester University and became an ROTC SMP cadet. This allowed me to not only still serve in the National Guard but also gave me the opportunity to become an officer in the United States Army. Becoming a cadet is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as many of the most memorable experiences in my life were from ROTC. Over the summer, I attended Air Assault School at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Not many soldiers in the Pennsylvania National Guard are afforded the opportunity to go to Air Assault School. Air Assault school is also popularly known as the ten most difficult days in the military, as it pushes an individual both physically and mentally. Air Assault School demanded the best from me and nothing less. I am forever thankful for this experience because it allowed me to grow as a soldier, and overall, as a person."
Green to Gold
Cadet Thomas Schenk (MS4)
"I was a former active duty Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division. The Green to Gold Program is an Army program in which an active duty enlisted Soldier can transition to the officer side of the military. In this process, you complete a 4-year bachelor's degree program or complete a graduate degree within a two-year time frame. After doing countless training rotations, trips to JRTC, NTC, EGRE to Iraq/Kuwait in 2020, I realized that I wanted more out of my military career. I was also taking online classes after completing daily military duties and quickly got my Associate’s in Arts. During BLC, we were briefed on what the Green to Gold program truly was and I immediately started to work on my packet.
My active-duty time gave me a solid foundation to build off of while working towards my commission. Many new cadets must work on these Level 1 tasks for the first couple years in the ROTC program. For me, I was able to help other cadets achieve this while also working on my leadership potential. Coming from active duty made me also realize the ROTC program requires a commitment but is not as daunting of an experience that many people might think.
ROTC has allowed me to look at the big picture of a mission and not just a little segment of it. I have also got extensive knowledge on creating OPORDS, CONOPS, and many other tasks that officers might encounter down the line. Contact WCU’s Recruiting Operations Officer, Retired Major Keith Karbel, where he will help you with the process of transitioning from your current duty station to WCU as your place of duty.”
First Year Student
Cadet Molly Grant (MS1)
"Choosing a college can be tough and there is a lot that goes into deciding which school will be a good fit. I decided to visit West Chester University during their “friendsgiving PT” with the Dauntless Battalion’s Army Reserves Officer Training Corps (ROTC) to learn more about the school. Friendsgiving is a day where each cadet can bring an outside guest to physical training to workout with the Battalion for a day. All the cadre and cadets were extremely kind and professional towards myself and each other. They made me feel safe, and a part of a family. We conducted workouts that would prepare us for the battlefield, and for the Army Combat Fitness Test. We pushed and motivated each other to complete the tasks to the best of our ability. Even though there were only a select few that knew who I was, everyone cheered me on and made me feel like I was already a part of the team. The friendsgiving experience that morning made me realize that West Chester University and the Dauntless Battalion was where I belonged.
Throughout my entire life, my dad has been in the military, and he is currently a captain in the Army National Guard. I have always talked about joining the service because I want to be involved in a challenging organization that will push me to be the best version of myself. I also want to be the first woman in my family to serve in the military. I believe that through hard work and dedication, I will accomplish my lifelong goal of earning my commission as an Officer in the U.S. Army by committing myself to the Dauntless Battalion’s ROTC. Joining ROTC would mean more than just receiving a college education and obtaining a commission in the U.S. Army. This program teaches you how to lead, master communication skills, increase your organizational abilities, enhance your physical fitness, and obtain a rewarding career and future. The Dauntless Battalion uses all these aspects in their program. They have senior cadets teaching junior cadets tactics to use in situations on the battlefield. This gives senior cadets leadership opportunities while it enhances the junior cadets knowledge of the U.S. Army. They conduct physical training four days a week to enhance the cadet’s strength and mobility. The Battalion allows the ROTC cadets to absorb knowledge from ambushing to map reading during our classroom periods. All three of these aspects of this program are essential to becoming a successful Officer in the Army.
Serving in the U.S. military would push me out of my comfort zone and assist me with reaching my full potential by becoming a part of an organization that is bigger than myself. After growing up with a family member in the military, I understand the positive obstacles the military can create for you to help you grow as a person and in the workforce. These obstacles may include putting you in situations you have never been in before and teaching you how to overcome them, which can make you build self-confidence. While immersing yourself in an environment that provides you the opportunities to overcome self-doubt and to work within a team, being in ROTC allows you to earn a college degree, obtain leadership experience, and prepares you to have a successful career. I know that an ROTC program will help me fulfill my long-term goal of becoming an Army officer and have an exciting career while serving my country."
SMP Cadet- Army National Guard
Cadet Joshua Adams (MS3)
"I initially enlisted in the PA National Guard in 2019. I enlisted on my birthday as a 12B (Combat Engineer). Shortly after I completed OSUT (One Station Unit Training), I went to serve on active duty for the national guard for two years. I returned to college and was awarded the Minuteman scholarship. With this I earned the role as an SMP Cadet. My full-time job is being a student and learning the valuable role that officers play in the Army. During my National Guard obligation, I shadow officers in my unit and gain valuable knowledge in how platoon leaders work in a combat engineer unit. My prior enlistment service allows me to see first hand the leaders I wanted to be like. As an enlisted Soldier I understood my role and how I wanted leaders to treat me. My intent on commissioning is to be the leader I want my Soldiers to look up to. Basic training, Advanced Individual Training, and time at my unit allowed me to be more prepared for ROTC since I was able to learn how the Army functions. I also was able to experience things most cadets wouldn’t have if they were not prior service. "
Cadet Christopher Morales (MS4)
"I am a Computer Science Major with a Japanese Minor which has led me towards wanting a career in the Cyber Branch in the Active-Duty component of the Army. The reason I initially chose Computer Science as my major was because I knew I wanted to work in the tech industry but wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to end up but knew that my degree and the skills I would learn along with it would give me a range of options both in and out of the Army. I chose a Japanese minor to set myself apart from everyone else, not only in learning a language, but in learning the language that is one of the hardest if not the absolute hardest for native English speakers to learn. This major/minor combination initially led me towards Military Intelligence however I soon realized that if I wanted to continue to follow a path to set myself apart that Cyber would not only allow me to do that but also would give me hands on experience in the tech industry which I plan on making my career outside of the Army. In all, this combination of major and minor has allowed me to not only work on setting myself apart from my peers, but has also allowed me to work on and improve myself in multiple ways and would highly recommend that anyone thinking of pursuing a minor that doesn’t necessarily match up with their major to go for it. Not only will it be an amazing way to set you apart but it will also be a way for you to network and work with different kinds of people that you wouldn’t have been able to before."
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