“CONTACT!” The NSU cadets drilling in the Grady Erwin Nature Preserve returned fire, sought cover and assessed the situation, all in a matter of seconds. NSU’s Army ROTC cadets were putting some of their classroom lessons into practice Thursday, January 28 with a series of drills. The cadets practiced how to react to contact with enemy forces, ambushes, indirect fire and establishing security at a halt while patrolling. Drills like these form the basic skills that the cadets will build upon as they progress through the ROTC program and into the Army as young officers.
NSU’s Army ROTC program currently enrolls about 35 cadets, ranging from incoming freshmen to graduate students. The program has been at NSU for over 70 years and usually commissions five to six officers each year. The cadets will go on to serve as officers in the active Army, National Guard and Army Reserve when they graduate.
The cadets carry a full load of college courses in addition to their ROTC classes. The summers may find them jumping out of perfectly good airplanes at Airborne school, rappelling out of helicopters at Air Assault school or honing and testing their leadership abilities at Advanced Camp. NSU’s cadets have traditionally done well compared to their peers in ROTC units across America. Cadet Gennyfer Pena, a senior biology major from the Dominican Republic is a Distinguished Military Graduate, ranking in the top 20% of cadets nationwide based on her GPA and performance in her four years of ROTC. She will be going into the active-duty Army in the Adjutant General’s Corps upon graduation.
Army ROTC is more than a scholarship program. These young men and women are becoming part of the tradition of citizen-soldiers who have served this nation well from Lexington and Concord through the present day.