The majority student led ROTC program here at APSU does community events throughout the semester in addition to being part of the U.S. Army.
Colin Crist, senior physics major and S-5 Lead in the ROTC program said, “We don’t do anything for validation from the community, or awards, or community service awards. We do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
For example, the ROTC program, under the now retired director, LTC. John Montgomery, participated in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.
“He really pushed (it) last years and that inspired us to work hard and raise money for it. We raised over $7,000 for the event, and we were the largest fundraising organization that contributed to that event. We were really proud of that.”
The ROTC program also worked with the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi on their “Sisters For Soldiers” philanthropy event.
“Last year was our first year, so we’re trying to build and make it better and better. It will be next semester. It brings awareness to the issues soldiers struggle through.”
The ROTC program also helps out around the community through other events.
“We also do a lot of volunteer work for events on campus like usher for graduations or do outreach to middle colleges throughout the local community. Our color guard, free of charge, will present the colors at events. It could be a football game or a memorial service…. We are always out there trying to do what we can.”
Another way the ROTC program encourages involvement is through recruitment.
Their recruitment officer is Mr. Julius Kelly.
“His job is to recruit people into the program. We can accomplish that through our outreach programs.”
One of their main programs is the Cadet for a Day program.
“Cadet for a Day is for juniors and seniors in high school. They don’t have to be in JROTC or be military affiliated. We will do PT with them, eat breakfast with them, and we will do some kind of leadership or team-based activity so that they can learn about themselves.”
Mr. Kelly and two of the cadets will also go to local high schools and discuss what ROTC can do for them.
Personally, Crist has seen the ROTC program’s positive impact on not only his fellow cadets, but also on the community at large.
“I have seen APSU ROTC grow and develop young men and women into strong and confident leaders through the training opportunities that it offers. We are a family here. We hold each and every one of us to a high standard. These high stress environments (which the cadets endure through the program) are what forge these strong leaders.”
“As for the community, I see the impact in every time in how we reach out to somebody. It could be through the color service when we raise the flag. It could be raising money for a social issue around the community. The impact is those we help and those we serve. As for the cadets themselves, they grow every year. I’m still growing, and we do what we can to be a leader.”