Have you ever wondered what it’s like to devote all your time to a specific cause? 0400 and you hear your alarm sound and all you want to do is hit the snooze button. Well you can’t as much as you want to close your eyes and fall back asleep you think to yourself about the commitment you made to yourself and to your country. Although you may not actually be in the Army yet, you have taken the first steps into furthering yourself mental and physically. You still represent the Army and you should hold your head high proudly. You have made the decision to become an Officer in the United States Military, which alone says a lot about your character.
As you’re waking up in the morning at 0400 you begin to get ready for what’s ahead of you. You stand up and look at your uniform, ACU blouse and bottom. You begin getting dressed making sure all your patches are in line. The American flag is on your right side and always facing forward as we always go forward towards the enemy. You proudly wear the ROTC battalion patch under the American flag as well to represent what you stand for. On the left side you wear the leadership excellence patch before you are preparing yourself to be a future leader and you want nothing but excellence to precede you.
You finish getting ready and you look in the mirror to make sure you are well dressed. Freshly shaven and hair is within the regulations of the Army. This is because you have to take pride in wearing the uniform, you are about to go out into the world and although you’re not in the Army there are other people around you who may be veterans or current active service in the military who have earned the right to wear the uniform you are currently wearing. Individuals who have shed blood, sweat and tears in the uniform you are wearing defending this great country. It’s a sign of respect to yourself and to those who have already paid their dues for their country.
Why join ROTC, you may ask. The answer is simple. It makes you a better person all together. It build character and shapes you to be a well-rounded individual. Those 0400 wake ups may seem like they suck but you have to prepare yourself when you’re finally an officer and you are prepared and ready to go. You’re going to be a young 2nd lieutenant and are going to be leading other soldiers who already have time in the Army. They want a leader who is going to be ready to lead and know what they are doing and that is what ROTC prepares you for.
You are looking for light at the end of the tunnel. There are times where it is going to suck waking up every day especially since you are also going to school and trying to juggle both, but you have to remember why you joined in the first place and never lose sight of the ultimate goal. When you walk that stage at your commissioning ceremony, hold your head high because you made the decision that only 1% of the people in the United States make and that’s the will to serve and protect the country you call home. You are willing to give up everything so your family and friends and even people you don’t know can have a great and safe life home knowing there are people out there protecting their freedoms back home.