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September 27, 1996 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-27

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16- The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 27, 1996



The Army
Reserve Officer
Training Corps
ropes crew does
morning exercis-
es in the Arb on





ew people know the beauty of the Arb at 7 a.m. better than students
in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps.


Early Wednesday morning, long before students were
awake to crowd the Diag, Army ROTC cadets volunteering
to be part of the ranger challenge team had devised a way to
cross a river using only a rope in five minutes flat.
The early-morning silence was shattered with the chant of
"beef, beef," a term describing the way cadets let the rope
out before they pull themselves belly-up across the rope.
"Your only job in life is to make sure this clip stays affixed
right here," an officer says while instructing an army cadet.
"If I see this slip again, 20 push-ups."
At the same time, Army cadets met at the Central Campus
Recreation Building to prepare for their physical training test,
while other Navy and Air Force ROTC students were alive
and awake in North Hall.
Rising to see the sunrise is nothing uncommon for any of
the approximately 280 students from the Army, Navy and
Air Force divisions of ROTC at the University.
As strange as it may seem, you won't see any of them com-
plaining about it.
LSA junior Gregg Olsowy, who is in the Air Force ROTC,
said he enjoys almost everything he does in ROTC.
"My life revolves around ROTC," said Olsowy, w6^
is concentrating in political science. "This is where
almost all of my friends are. I've spent most of my *
time here doing the extra ROTC activities. They're
a lot of work, but it's the most enjoyment I get out '
of the corps."
Lieutenant Colonel Grady Buchan of Air Force *</
ROTC said there is plenty to enjoy about the progran
"This is not boot camp," Buchan said. "We try to con-
centrate on those types of skils that will make people better
ROTC officers said the program is different from military
academies because it attempts to balance military, education,
leadership and personal skills.
"I think that ROTC offers the whole balance," Buchan
said. "There's much less rigidity in ROTC as opposed to at
the academies. Our first priority here is school and our sec-
ond is military."
LSA senior Dan Fillion, a senior majoring in Japanese and

French, said he prefers the ROTC atmosphere to that of a
military academy.
"Out of all the choices, ROTC is the wisest choice you
can make because you can go to school and get a well-
rounded education," said Fillion, who is in the Navy ROTC.
"You get to study and socialize, and it's a lot more like the
real world."
Two-thirds of all Air Force students, three-fourths
of all Army students and nearly all Navy students are
on various forms of scholarship. Their aid packages
range from stipends to cover the cost of books to full
tuition, including $150 per month in spending
Although many students are enticed by the schol-
arships ROTC offers, Engineering junior Mike
Shreeves, a member of Air Force ROTC. said that
most students are in ROTC because they are interested in a
career in the military services.
"The money is something they advertise a lot, but as they
come here, they realize they are putting a lot of pride into
what they do," Shreeves said.
ROTC students are required to graduate with 16-18
:redits in ROTC classes that cover military history
as well as technical and practical applications used
in the military.
* None of the credits from Army or Air Force
* classes transfer to LSA, but some count in
, Engineering, Nursing and Business.
Second Lt. Mike Thompson said that the Army
ROTC program is working toward cross-listing some of
its courses with LSA.
"You put in a lot of time out here and the University refus-
es to recognize it," Thompson said.
There are three courses in the Navy's curriculum that are
cross-listed in LSA and count toward LSA graduation
While many students enroll in four-year programs out of
high school, ROTC also offers two- and three-year programs.
After graduating from ROTC, Navy students are required
to spend four years of active duty. Air Force and Army grad-

uates choose between spending four years on active duty or
serving six years on inactive duty during which they hold
civilian jobs and participate in the military on a limited basis.
Buchen said that an average of 90 percent of Army ROTC
graduates choose to enlist in active duty because they like
what they do in ROTC.
"i think even if there was an extra fee for military
science, people would pay to do this," Buchen said.
"Students really value the problem solving and lead-
ership that they get out of it."
Buchen said ROTC teaches skills that arc % alued
in the business world as well.
"People in corporate America love to see RO TC on
applications because they know they will ha\ c leader-
ship and problem solving skills," Buchen said.
Maj. Walt Blanton of Army ROTC said the pro-
gram is based on the principles of ethics and integrity.
"If you have strong ethical values and do what is right.
you're going to be a strong officer," Blanton said.
Col. Mike Allen of Air Force ROTC said the program
looks for students with solid core values and solid
"We really try to get them to push the envelope"
Allen said. "Along the way we give them confidence
builders, things like shooting a rifle and rappelling."
Navy ROTC Capt. Robert Johnston said he remem-
bers a time when ROTC was very different.
As an ROTC student during the early 1970s,
Johnston said there were no women in ROTC and men in
uniform were not always treated with respect.
"Obviously the military was not popular," Johnston said.
"We were a lightning rod for military protests."
While he was in school, Johnston said he remembers that a
military car was blown up and North Hall was taken over twice.
"It was not a whole lot of fun sometimes," Johnston said.
Johnston said he sees a change in people's attitudes toward
the military since he was a student.
"I haven't been called a baby killer like I was in the '70s,"

Johnston said. "You don't see the massive protests like you di
in the '70s, and we've become smaller than we were in the '80s.
Johnston said he thinks there are a lot of misconceptions
about the military among University students.
"People think that this is about giving orders, but it's not,"
Johnston said. "We try to teach our students to lead people.
You don't do that by standing up and yelling at them."
LSA junior Rob Doane, who is in the Air Force ROTC,
said he disagrees with stereotypes that portray the military as
teaching aggression and conformity.
"' think the stereotype is that we're violent or hostile, and
we're iot," Doane said. "(The military) puts a lot ofpressur
on you and the only way you get through that is with yo
"There's a minority out there that see us negatively, but I
think they are those who aren't well-informed," Doane said.
Thompson said first-year Army cadets are required to
spend an average of five hours each week completing
ROTC requirements, but that many get involved
in extra activities like the ranger challenge team.
Older students have more requirements, but aLs
find the time to take advantage of the extra active
ties ROTC offers.
ROTC students are responsible for the color guard
that raises the flag at football and basketball games.
The rifle drill team hones skills in precision perfor-
mances - spinning and moving rifles in sync with
each other. ROTC cadets also compete on travel intra-
mural sports teams.
ROTC also puts on an annual tri-service-sponsored haunt-
ed house before Halloween to benefit the Ronald McDonald
House charity. The event raises between $4,500 and $6,000
each year.
Allen said community service is an important aspect of the
ROTC program.
"We tend to focus on what they can do for society," Allen
said. "They're no longer responsible for just themselves.
They're responsible for making the world a better place."

WoMell il ROTC refuse to ,...be cointed oat

By Alice Robinson
Daily Staff Reporter
Women in the University's Reserve Officer
Training Corps program may be outnumbered
by men, but they refuse to be counted out.
The percentage of women choosing cam-
ouflage is increasing as more and more real-
ize the benefits of a military-themed educa-
tion - tuition money, job security and a"
close-knit, challenging environment within"
the University.
This year, the Army ROTC has more than
20 female cadets while male cadets number
more than 50. The Navy ROTC is 23-percent
In the last few years, "We've had a 300-
percent increase in females," said Nursing
junior Nicole Rietscha. "It has absolutely sky-
The women say they've encountered
stereotypes along the way.
"People have the perception of the army as
you're either in trenches or in nursing or
something really in the back," said LSA
sophomore Janna Scott. "People think since

of VW ROT(

Air Force ROTC
Male enrollment
Female enrollment
Male enrollment
Female enrollmen
Male enrollment
Female enrollmen
ROTC Totals
Male enrollment
Female enrollmen

t 2
it 2
it 25
t 7:

physical training sessions because of her gen-
der. "There's definitely no pressure that the
guys put on you," she said. "All the guys are
;.' real helpful."
/ ~ However, Sullivan said frustration can
sometimes set in.
"As a woman weighing 125 pounds, it's a
lot harder to carry a ruck sack," she said;
0 (73.7%) referring to the backpacks with frames that
5(26.3%) soldiers typically carry.
5 Juniors and seniors are required to attend
physical training sessions three times a
week, while first-year students and sopho-
6 (72.7%) mores on ROTC scholarships must attend
1(27.3%) once or twice a week, said LSA senior
7 Kristie Ledford, who helps develop physical
training standards. Daily physical training
sessions are optional.
4 (77.1%) "You don't have to be an athletic goddess,"
5(22.9%) Sullivan said of the training regimen.
9 When some of the women announced their
decisions to join ROTC, their parents were a
little surprised. "My mom was just afraid that
0 (74.7%) all of a sudden I'd be on the front lines,"
1(25.3%) Rietscha said.

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