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It is both surprising and shocking to think that some of the best universities and colleges across the country do not have ROTC programs on their campuses. For those students that are interested in participating, they may do so by commuting to places that offer the programs. Sometimes, those commutes can be as long as two hours, which can prove to be especially problematic when some of the exercises and field trainings take place as early as 6:00am. Every year there is a small amount of students from the Ivy League system that are commissioned as Second Lieutenants upon their graduations. Those young men and women sacrifice an incredible amount of time and effort to complete their training to ultimately get the chance to serve their country as officers. It is interesting to think that there are individuals out there literally fighting for their chance to serve while obtaining a top notch education. Typically, these ROTC cadets have family ties to the military.
The Ivy League ROTC ban brings up a serious issue when it comes to attracting some of the best and brightest into military service. Although military service is by no means for everyone, it seems as if many of the college bound individuals are not that familiar with the opportunities that officership brings. The fact that some of the best universities don’t offer these program on their campuses can be seen as if they don’t believe a career path of an officer is the military as on the same stature as some of the occupations in the civilian world. Even though this may be far from the truth, at first glance it appears that way. This holds especially true for young men and women that don’t take a deeper look into military service.
In a recruiting environment where only about 30% of youth are eligible for military service, (to learn more https://majastevanovich.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/only-30-of-17-24-year-old-eligible-for-military-service/ ) the ROTC ban in some of the finer colleges does not help in attracting the 17-24 demographic to serve as officers. This poses a challenge for the military as they aim to educate youth about the opportunities officership offers. One of the ways has proven to be successful is the use of social media. A big reason why social media is effective is because youth are living in a digital world, they understand and relate to the messaging, and they are used to brands being interactive with them.
To all those ROTC students at schools where there are no programs, thank you for your dedication.