Editorial: ROTC needs to be recognized and celebrated

This week, The Bucknellian decided to spotlight one of the most unrecognized and underappreciated groups on campus: ROTC. This group of men and women dedicate a huge amount of time and energy to training as a cadet–-in addition to being a student.

As a school, we should recognize and congratulate the extraordinary efforts of these students. When we really start to consider how hard they work and what they are working toward, we can see that they really are extraordinary people.

Most students at this school shudder at the idea of waking up for an 8 a.m. class (or even a 10 a.m. class, for that matter). Imagine, as an ROTC cadet, waking up every morning as early as 5:30 a.m. to go on your daily three or four mile run.

Most students at the University complain constantly about their workload, struggling to balance their academic and social lives. The cadets, meanwhile, face up to 10 hours of extra work per week, including classes that do not count for academic credit. At some schools, the ROTC program can lead to a Military Science minor, but not here.

And despite all the extra work and hardships, they do not complain. They fly under the radar and always do their job.

Members of ROTC also deserve credit for their self-initiative, since they are essentially paying their way through college. What’s more, when they are done with school, they enlist in the military and risk their lives for our freedom.

When all is said and done, ROTC cadets have a lot more on their plates than average students, and they persevere through both school and training without complaint. For this reason, and so many more, we as a student body and school community should recognize them for their efforts.

Perhaps many of us do recognize the cadets internally, but few show it in an external manner. It is unfortunate that the University does not sponsor any events that seriously raise awareness of the program or the students involved in it, but even something as simple as a smile or a thank you could suffice.

So, we at The Bucknellian challenge the University community to recognize the self-sacrifice and hard work of the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our way of life, especially those men and women who are a part of our very own University family.

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