Athens, OH 23 February 2015 –
As my time here in Athens is coming to an end, it’s time to face reality and get ready for the real world. At the end of last semester, I found out that I was accepted to serve in the Active Duty Army as a helicopter pilot, which for me, is what I have been working towards all four years while I’ve been here at OU. So what exactly does this mean…
Within the next two weeks, the current graduating class of Army ROTC Cadets will be finding out when they leave for their training, which for me will be in Fort Rucker, Alabama. Other Cadets who did not branch Aviation will also be finding out their Duty Stations, or essentially where they will be living for the next several years after their training. Due to the fact that flight school for me can last up to two years, I will not be finding out my Duty Station until near completion of my training.
Some of the training I will get to experience with my time at Fort Rucker includes the initial eight-week Basic Officer Leadership Course, where I will learn what it takes to be an Aviation Officer. This involves mainly classroom work and the beginnings of learning the components of a helicopter and what makes them fly. This is where I am fortunate that I have my engineering background, so this portion of the course should hopefully not be too bad. I will then attend a three-week survival course, in the event I should ever go down behind enemy lines, and upon completion of this I will begin flight school.
Balancing ROTC with school work has been challenging, all while earning the title of Distinguished Military Graduate for ranking in the top 20th percentile of the nation. Therefore, after graduation, I am hoping to relax for one last summer before I begin what very well may be my career. Looking back, I am still glad for choosing to stick with an engineering degree just because of the discipline and mindset that comes with a lot work.