TCU Daily Skiff Thursday, April 22, 2004
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ROTC cadets soar higher

Eugene Chu is a senior political science major from Arlington.

While graduation is important to many, it has many special meanings to TCU ROTC cadets. For our academic roles, it means an end of being a student and the beginning of being an alumnus or alumnae. For our social roles, it means the end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood. For Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC cadets, it means the end of being a cadet and the beginning of being a commissioned officer. The changes for ROTC cadets may seem insignificant for some, but they mean more than a simple role change.

On May 7, one day prior to graduation, the TCU Army ROTC battalion and TCU Air Force detachment will commission their senior cadets as officers in their respective branches. After graduation, those officers from ROTC at TCU will begin their service in the United States Army and United States Air Force. These branches of the U.S. military are not only organizations, but also societies. In these societies, these two groups of TCU alumni are not only members, but also leaders. Their time in ROTC and at TCU not only means instruction, but also personal development.

Though some may dismiss the significance of ROTC, please consider the training that TCU cadets go through. ROTC cadets often awake before sunrise to participate in physical training in order to develop their bodies. ROTC cadets participate in military science or aerospace studies classes in order to develop their minds. ROTC cadets participate in occasional weekend training exercises in order to develop their spirits. Along with military training, please consider the special meaning that TCU has for its ROTC cadets.

One special aspect about ROTC in the United States is its balance of military and civilian elements. At TCU, cadets participate in regular classes, receiving a civilian academic education alongside the student body. At TCU, our cadets participate in varsity or intramural sports, competing athletically alongside the student body. At TCU, our cadets hold membership in fraternities and sororities, participating socially alongside the student body. At TCU, while military training exists, it co-exists peacefully with academic learning.
My days as a ROTC cadet and a TCU student are slowly becoming numbered. For graduating seniors, these final days mark a change of role, going from student to citizen. For many of my friends and myself, these final days not only mean transition, but also transformation. As you read my final column, please think about the ROTC cadets in our student body. While I wholeheartedly respect all TCU students, I hope you will all understand the special meaning of ROTC and TCU for my friends and me.
 
 
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