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February 22, 2002 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-22

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FRIDAY Focus

The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 22, 2002 -10.

"

i ROTC is not the
presence of the mili-
tary in the university,
but the Universit in
the military.
--Lee Dryfus
former chancellor of the
Univerity of Wisconsin,
Stevens Point

BY SHANNON PETTYPIECE
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
LOVE, HONOR AND COUNTRY DRIVE
JERMAINE JORDAN AN AIR FORCE
RESERVE OFFICER 'FRAINING CORPS
CADET AND SENIOR AT EASTERN MICHI-
GAN UNIVERSITY, TO OVERCOME PER-
SONAL FRUSTRATIONS AND RISK HIS LIFE
FOR HIS COUNTRY.
THE LIFELONG DREAM TO FLY AIR-
PLANES PUSHES AIR FORCE ROTC
CADET AND ENGINEERING SENIOR
NICHOLAS NOREUS TO WAKE UP AT
5:30 A.M. EACH MORNING AND GIVE UP
MANY LATE NIGHTS OF PARTYING.
THE AIR FORCE MOTTO OF "INTEGRITY
FIRST, SERVICE BEFORE SELF AND
EXCELLENCE IN ALL WE DO" IS WHAT
CADET JOEL WESCH AN LSA SENIOR
AND MEMBER OF ROTC, LIVES BY.
In a time when U.S. troops are ransacking the caves of
Afghanistan and President Bush has declared action be
taken against the "axis of evil," cadets such as Jordan,
Noreus and Wesch have found their role as citizens and
soldiers transformed.
"Since we are obviously in a war, people are more
excited to get on active duty. People are ready to be done
with their training and actually start doing things,"
Noreus said. "People feel very removed here from
where they feel like they could be contributing ... peo-
ple are ready to go."
Noreus said his outlook has not changed much since
President Bush declared a war on terrorism, but he has
realized the pertinence of his mission as a soldier.
"I think it has made more people take what they are
doing more seriously," Noreus said. "If anyone had put
any thought into it they would have realized that since
their freshman year, before all this had happened, we
were training to fight wars and this has just sort of given
us a touch more sense of how close it is."

Looking back on his experience, Noreus said the ROTC
program was different than he expected with training focused
on becoming a leader as opposed to a follower.
"You see the movies and you expect that you are just going
to stand in line, learn how to march, people will be yelling at
you and you just do what you're told, but I was surprised that
most of our training is geared toward learning how to lead
people," Noreus said.
When the hours seem long and the work seems tedious,
Noreus said he tries to never forget why he has chosen the path
he has.
"I just think about what I have to do in order to fly planes
and that honestly is what does it for me," Noreus said. "That's
why I get up, that is why I do what I got to do."
Although the dedication required to succeed in ROTC
requires that cadets invest a large portion of their time, Wesch
said he does not feel he has had to give anything up.
"You get out what you put in, so I've gotten back from
ROTC tenfold of what I think I have put in,"Wesch said.
FArni, HOPE AND PATRIOTISM
ne of the most difficult tasks ROTC cadets will face
as they become officers is the possibility of risking
their life or taking the life of another person. Jordan said he
has not learned any secrets to making these difficult choices
any easier.
"We're 'managers of violence,' but we haven't become man-
agers of death," Jordan said. "If I'm in a plane and I see the
building and they're telling me it's OK to shoot and I know
people are going to die - will I be able to do something like
that? I guess it is one of those things where you don't know
filly until you're in that position. Personally I think I would,
but I've never killed anybody so I don't know if I can."
While some skills can only be obtained through first-hand
combat experience, Jordan said ROTC is preparing him for the
difficult choices he will have to make as an officer, such as
risking his life to save his fellow soldiers and his country. ,
"They give us a sense that it's for the greater good. No one
wants to kill anybody, no one wants to destroy buildings ..
but when I do that it is for the greater good. You have to keep
telling yourself and be confident that your actions are for the
greater good. I'm not saying it's not going to be hard though,"
Jordan said.
Wesch said the threats that come with war are one of the
hardest parts of the job, but he understands that it comes with
the duty.
"It's part of the mission, it's part of what happens when you
sign your name," Wesch said. "I personally do think about that
quite a bit. It's one of those things where you just have to real-
ize what your mission is over all and that you're comfortable
with the mission of the Air Force. My goal always has been to
help people, and if along that line something happens to me it
is part of the job."
As officers, these cadets will be subject to the ultimate
authority and command of the policy makers in Washington
who will inevitably make decisions about U.S. military
involvement that will go against some of their personal views.
ROTC has taught Jordan that he may hold certain political
views, but still trust the choices made by his Commander-in-
Chief.
"I have my own views and ideas behind what is happening,
but I have to separate my views from what is happening
because I have to keep my faith and know that people that are
appointed are doing the right thing," Jordan said. "Sometimes
you might not think they are and know they are not, but you
just have to keep the faith and know that the system has
worked and got us to this position, and I just have to trust in
my abilities and those above of me that it is for the greater
good," Jordan said.
The nature of the ROTC program helps cadets develop the
sense of teamwork and responsibility for others that is a key
element for soldiers in battle.
"If I was a regular student here I would basically feel like I
was only responsible for myself. If I didn't study I would just
do poorly on my exam and I
.i.ad .would do

personally poorly," Noreus said. "If you're in ROTC and you
short your responsibilities at all it affects much more people
than just yourself.You really get the sense that if you don't stay
on top of the things you let a lot of people down."
TIMES OF PEACE AND WAR
ith images of WWII and the Vietnam War planted in
American's heads by Hollywood, many people dread
the thought of another war that would lead to massive civilian
casualties. But some ROTC cadets and political scientists
believe America has moved into a new era of combat that will
eliminate people's former notions of war.
"You can definitely still get in the trenches Jordan said. "It
will be a lot neater, a lot less civilian deaths on our end any-
way."
Noreus said he plans on encountering conflict as an officer
I have my own
views and ideas behind
what is happening, but I
have to separate my
views from what is hap-
pening because I have
to keep my faith and
know that people that
are appointed are doing
the right thing. i
- Jermaine Jordan
EMU Senior and ROTC Cadet

ETT MOUNIAIN/Daily

"

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