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ROTC camouflaged by misconceptions

Students gain 'real-life skills' through training

staff writer

Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014

Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 15:02

ROTC classroom

Ashlee Flygare photo

Cadets from the ROTC listen as their instructor lectures in a leadership laboratory class on Thursday. Students said they receive hands-on experience through the program.

In the early 1900s, Utah State was considered the West Point of the West, placing more Reserved Officer Training Corps cadets into the Army than other universities, said Zach Smith, a recruiter for the Army ROTC.


Many students may not know about the ROTC here at USU, but two programs, the Air Force as part of the aerospace studies department, and the Army as part of the military science department, are available.


The main mission for the AFROTC is to develop future leaders for the Air Force, said Lt. Col. Alex Dubovik, commander of the Air Force ROTC detachment and aerospace studies department head.


The AFROTC said their detachment at USU is relatively large.


“There are 90 cadets in the program, six of which are female,” Dubovik said.


Training revolves around leadership.


“I want people to come in and do their best at every task they are given,” Dubovik said.  


The AFROTC is organized into a cadet wing. Juniors and seniors fill the senior leadership roles within it. Every cadet is assigned a job within the wing and is responsible for specific functions. Juniors and seniors are charged with structuring the weekly leadership lab and serve as mentors to the newer cadets, Dubovik said.


“The most beneficial part is that juniors and seniors learn key leadership skills and are afforded the opportunity to reflect on what they did right or wrong and what they can improve on,” he said. “They get to make mistakes and learn from them in a controlled environment prior to heading out into the real Air Force.”


Dubovik said what cadets learn in the AFROTC will benefit them in the Air Force.

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