The ETSU Army ROTC program is one of the most visible but least understood programs on campus. Some students may have seen cadets out for a run early in the morning, seen them in uniform walking to class or maybe have encountered them at an event like graduation. Similar in some ways to athletics programs, ROTC is a commitment from early in the morning until late in the evening.
Cadets begin their day by meeting at 6 a.m. to conduct physical fitness training. This can sometimes include long runs or ruck marches (wearing large backpacks with weights during the march), combat focused exercises or just regular lifting. This training, known as “PT” occurs everyday at least once.
Cadets are encouraged to workout on their own through special teams or just at the CPA. ROTC is also made up of several classes that can be joined just like any other school course. These include PT, military science class and lab.
Lab is perhaps the most visible part of ROTC that happens on campus. Cadets don helmets, rucksacks, combat uniforms and dummy rifles. Then, they march up to Buccaneer Ridge to conduct training of all kinds.
Some of the classes taught range from first aid to setting up an ambush. All of the lessons help prepare cadets for their careers in the Army once they graduate.
In addition to classes and coursework, cadets also participate in all kinds of special on and off campus activities.
At almost every basketball, football or volleyball team, you can find an ROTC color guard presenting the flags during the national anthem. Special groups like Ranger Challenge and the Run Club travel all over the country to compete.
They represent ETSU just like other sports or on campus organizations. If you’re interested in learning more about ROTC, feel free to stop by Brooks Gym anytime Monday through Friday.