Eau Claire Squadron cadets learn of ROTC option for after graduation
Eau Claire, Wis. – On January 19, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Stout came to visit 13 members of the Eau Claire Composite Squadron at the National Guard Armory in Eau Claire. Stout is involved in the ROTC program at (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) Eau Claire, River Falls, and Stout and shared the benefits of the program with the cadets.
He talked about how the ROTC program can help you prepare for a career by going to college, yet serve your country simultaneously.
A ROTC student takes extra courses that relate to becoming a leader along with participating in weekly military training labs, they also go to Fort McCoy for field training once a semester. The first two years are basic courses taken without any commitment. Afterwards, you decide if you want to continue in the program and commit to four years of active or reserve duty after graduation.
Stout stated that the main benefit of the program is the skills you learn. They are the skills that employer’s seek in employees. The skills you learn are self-discipline, dedication others as well as yourself and leadership skills.
Another benefit is the ability to receive a 100% paid scholarship for tuition along with extra money for living expenses. Stout also spoke about how you can be both in the guard or the reserve along with being in the ROTC program to receive more benefits and pay.
Candidates that they look for are those who are disciplined, dedicated, want to serve their country, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, athletic and have shown to be a leader.
Stout believes that any branch of the military is good to be in, but he feels the Army as more diverse in that there are more types of jobs available. He spoke of many stories in his 22 years of experiences in the Army.
He was qualified to be trained in physics in nuclear weapons, leading to a career teaching physics at West Point and working on the National Defense System. Stout is also an Air Borne Ranger and talked about how heavy the backpacks can be. He mentioned that some are so big you must lie on the ground to get it on. You than roll over onto your stomach and use something like a tree branch to get up. He did tours of duty in both Somalia and Saudi Arabia.
Stout ended the presentation by showing pictures of different activities they participate in. He also showed pictures of Civil Air Patrol cadets that he has had in the ROTC program and where they are now.
His advice to the cadets was how important it is to keep good friends. He warned that if your friends stray off a path of doing good things, then you should remove yourself from them so you do not get dragged down with them.
As a farewell to the group, he handed out insulated lunch bags with a pen, water bottle and a lanyard, along with pamphlets about ROTC. All present enjoyed the presentation and the cadets learned another option for when they graduate high school.