ROTC grads don’t have to fear graduation

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    While many students struggle to find jobs, seniors in the university’s ROTC program know exactly what they’ll be doing after graduation.

    In February of their junior year, ROTC cadets learn where they will be assigned to live and work for the first 18 months of their lives after college.

    Senior criminal justice major Jerid Hayden said he will train in Pensacola, Fla., to be a navigator on a plane. He said it’s comforting to know that he will have a secure job for at least eight years after graduation.

    Senior environmental science major Chris Hilton said he also values the job security ROTC provides.

    “A lot of my friends have no idea where they’re going,” Hilton said. “I know exactly where I’m going and I know exactly how much I’m going to be making and my job’s secure so that’s a good benefit.”

    Despite all the work and commitment ROTC demands, both Hilton and Hayden have taken pride in their involvement.

    Hilton said it has enhanced his student experience.

    He said he felt like the demanding workouts and commitment to service set them apart from the rest of the student body. Hayden said that although ROTC takes up a great deal of his time, he has gotten a lot out of it.

    “Honestly, ROTC takes up more time than the rest of my classes combined,” he said.

    Both students said they do not believe most students understand the commitment it takes to be in ROTC.

    Hayden said he has wanted to be in the Air Force since he was two years old and could not imagine himself doing anything else.

    “If I’m up in the air, I’ll be happy,” he said.