Since the fall of 1884, the Department of Military Science at Michigan State University has not only been challenging its students academically, but also preparing them to serve our country as many look toward future careers in both military and civilian communities. From intensive training to rigorous scholastic schedules, these Spartans have joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) to make an impact on the world as they devote their college careers to learn how to do just that.
“I decided to join ROTC because I wanted to work in a career that might help people on a larger scale while making me a stronger individual — physically and mentally,” senior and animal science major Hannah Piper said. “The model of the program rarely lets a student fall behind or fail. Unlike most students, you have a support system and people who are looking after you that want you to succeed.”
Since Piper’s enrollment in the program, she has served as an Alpha Company Executive Officer and Battalion Executive Officer and currently, she holds the position of Bravo Company Platoon leader. Piper has thoroughly enjoyed her time in the ROTC program. Her experiences and variety of leadership roles have taught her many valuable skills.
“As a student involved in the military,” Piper said, “I’ve learned a level of professionalism, work ethic and leadership that can only be developed in the toughest of situations. Specifically, as a woman, it has earned me respect. Being a woman in this world can be difficult, and sometimes being a woman in the military can be even harder. I expect myself to keep up physically with the men around me and I have learned to lead so that I am not overlooked.”
When Piper graduates this May with a Doctorate in veterinary medicine from MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and a Master’s in public health, she will enter the Army as a Captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. Like Piper, senior and psychology major Zachary Delph has also dedicated his college career to the ROTC.
“[The] ROTC has challenged me to prioritize my work,” Delph said. “The program places heavy emphasis on grades, as well as leadership and extracurricular activities. It challenges you to be diverse and have a lot of different skill sets.”
Delph and Piper both agree that the ROTC is no walk in the park; it takes a lot of commitment. While this hard work has molded them into the young professionals equipped to take on their future roles in the military, the program at MSU has also allowed them to experience a Big Ten campus in its entirety.
“I joined ROTC because I wanted to still have a college experience rather than to go to an all-military academy,” Delph said. “I chose to stay with the program all four years because I found that I really enjoyed it.”
As we celebrate 241 years of freedom this July 4th, make sure to also honor incredible students like Piper and Delph who have dedicated their college careers to learning how to protect and serve our country. Here’s to you, ROTC students! We at ing Magazine thank you.
If you are at all thinking about joining the ROTC, Piper has just one thing to say to you: “Do it. Stick with it. Take advantage of every opportunity and you will truly set yourself up for future success. Just like anything else, you will get out of ROTC what you put into it.”