Becoming a member of the Army ROTC program at Gannon was one of the best decisions I ever made. Even though it’s one of the most unknown programs in college, it has so many benefits.

ROTC stands for Reserve Officer Training Corps. After completing a four-year program, you’re awarded with a second lieutenant officer rank. The ROTC commitment is three credits per semester, which includes a class once a week for freshman and sophomores and twice a week for juniors and seniors. This allows you to complete a four-year college degree while participating in ROTC.  There is also personal training (PT) 6-7 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Along with PT and class, there are monthly training labs where you learn basic skills such as land navigation, weapons training and other important military assets. The first two years of your college ROTC experience are without a commitment to the Army, unless you are a contracted cadet. In that case, you’re on a scholarship and you have an eight-year commitment to the Army after college. If you are a contracted cadet, there are opportunities to participate in summer training courses such as Air Assault School, Airborne School, and Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP). I have been selected to go to the small country of Moldova with a CULP assignment this summer.

Not only does ROTC provide you with a commission after college, you can also earn scholarships that pay for college tuition. There are four-year, three-year and two-year scholarships available as long as you maintain high grades and stay physically fit. I was fortunate to receive a four-year national scholarship, so I have all four years of college paid for and I receive a monthly stipend. Gannon also pays for room and board, which is definitely a plus.

Army ROTC is definitely a hidden gem and I recommend it to so anyone who is looking for an out-of-the-ordinary college experience.