Kaitlin: Cadet Kaitlin

For those of you who know me, you might already be familiar with the fact that my college experience is a bit different from many others’ in COM. Sure, I live in a dorm, revolve around a tight budget, and take enough classes to keep me pretty busy throughout the week.

But unlike most people, I’ve already been guaranteed a job for after I graduate. In fact, I know exactly how long I’ll have this job, how much I’ll be paid, and who my coworkers will be- 350,000 some odd Airmen.

That’s right. When I graduate Boston University’s College of Communication, I’ll also commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

Since the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AF ROTC) is pretty rare in COM (I’m currently the only cadet majoring in a communication field), people usually have a ton of questions for me, so I thought I’d answer a few here!

So, what exactly is ROTC?

In short, it’s a college program designed to train students to become commissioned officers in the armed forces.  Boston University hosts four branches of ROTC- Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy.

What does that really mean?

On top of normal college classes, I have quite a few mandatory things I must do every week as a member of ROTC, including an additional 5 hours of class-time, physical training sessions, and a uniform day. We also have additional events we must attend, the biggest one being  a 28-day training in Alabama and Mississippi over the Summer (I successfully completed mine in June!). Over the course of the four years we’re in college, we’re learning how to become the best leaders possible, so we can soon lead thousands of men and women in the military.

What happens next?

After my college career, I will enter the force as an officer, which means that Day One I’ll be the boss of thousands of enlisted personnel. My contract will commit me to four years in the active Air Force, and four years in the Reserves. My plan is to work in the field of public affairs, hence the public relations major, and learn as much as I can. I recognize that this experience is so incredibly rare, and will definitely contribute to a unique perspective on PR in other fields.

Annnnd the biggest question: Will you fly planes?

No, I will probably never fly a plane. The fact that everyone in the Air Force flies is actually a very common misconception! (Although that would be pretty cool).

I hope I cleared up some confusion and/or answered some questions you might have had! If any of you have any other questions about my experience in ROTC or otherwise, please feel free to let me know. And of course, if you see me walking around in my uniform on Wednesdays, be sure to say hello!

 

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