November 3, 2016
Photo Courtesy of 2LT TED ZOODSMAN
Cleveland State University ROTC cadets in a formation with cadets from seven other Northeast Ohio colleges as they swear in a fellow soldier.
Before rush hour even begins, Cleveland State University students Riley Burton, Gabriel Carlton and Jacques Black march four miles through wooded trails and bushes. They are part of a regional Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program, made up of seven area colleges, that meets two days a week regardless of the weather.
They begin military-style training at 6 a.m. at John Carroll University before commuting, still in their uniforms, back to Cleveland State for afternoon classes.
Burton, a sophomore nursing student, said, “We wear our uniforms all day to show people we are in the program and encourage them to join.” Burton has completed basic training.
She said she feels basic training and life as a National Guardsman have taught her to follow commands, but the ROTC program taught her how to be an effective leader. For her, leadership is important to get ahead faster in her nursing career.
The skill sets learned in the ROTC program have helped students outside of the program. Carlton said he is able to use the leadership skills he learned in ROTC to help encourage other students to achieve on projects in many ways. Learning leadership skills has made Carlton take a different role as a student than he had before ROTC, he noted. “Whenever I find myself in a group project, I always find myself taking a leadership role,” he said. “Before I was much more shy. It helped me out.”
After joining many cadets learn things they never knew they would learn. Black, a junior marketing student, said, “You don’t know if you don’t try. You are going to learn individual skills, how to work as a team, you and you are going to get in shape if you are not already.”