College Days with military service
Some students spend their days working toward more than just a college degree.
In the Reserve Officers Training Corps, University of Iowa students are able earn their degrees while working to become commissioned officers in the armed forces while attending school.
ROTC began at the UI in March 1, 1917, a month before the United States entered World War I.
The UI Military Science Department, however, has existed since 1864.
ROTC students take military coursework to learn leadership and military skills. Often, they receive various scholarships for their involvement in the program.
“The best part is all of the people I’ve met and their ability to challenge me and make me feel like I belong at the same time,” said UI freshman Katie McKeever, a member of the Army ROTC Mighty Hawkeye Batallion.
Though it can be quite a time commitment, she said, ROTC quickly became a part of her weekly routine.
“They respect that we are students,” McKeever said.
Her day begins with physical training in students’ separate platoons early in the morning before classes begin.
Once a week on Thursdays, she said, they attend “lead lab,” in which students receive hands-on training and briefings.
Those in the program also participate in a variety of volunteer activities. In the past, McKeever said, these included raising the flag at university sporting events and working the elevator at Kinnick Stadium.
McKeever said though she’s been interested in military service for most of her life, she wanted to earn a degree in sociology as well because she’s intrigued by people.
One day, she said, she would like to be a police officer.
“I want to use what I’ve learned to help others,” she said.
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