The curriculum of the Reserve Officers Training Program, ROTC, is different than that of the average Cal State Fullerton students.
In addition to regular class, ROTC students go through hours of physical training, military science classes, a three-hour leadership laboratory once a week and on top of that, additional summer training.
“They also have part-time jobs and some of them have families so it’s a very demanding schedule on top of all their other requirements on campus,” said Maj. Jesus Jose Cruz, head of the ROTC program and military science professor at CSUF.
After graduation, students are commissioned as second lieutenants in active duty, Army Reserve or Army National Guard.
“I would recommend to any incoming freshman to do the program, especially if you have a military inclination … You have the brotherhood or sisterhood within (the program),” said Logan Abraham, who is in his third year in the ROTC program.
Abraham said he will go into the reserves after he graduates but hopes to incorporate a civilian firefighting career to his life.
“I’ve gotten more out of this program in the first year than I did in any of my classes. The application of leadership, as opposed to just learning in the class, that you do in the ROTC is beyond anything else I’ve done,” Abraham said.
Not only are the principles of leadership and management heavily preached but academics play a key role in a cadets success.
“My priority for the students, first and foremost, is their academics. It’s the biggest contributing factor to whether or not you go on active duty,” Cruz said.
Cadets have the choice to take part in additional programs, such as the Airborne and Air Assault schools.
“The most immediate personal benefit is the leadership development that (cadets) acquire while they’re here. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find another program here on campus that maximizes on developing a students’ leadership potential,” Cruz said.