After serving overseas, ROTC student looks forward to graduation

Photo courtesy of Andrew Altizer.

Lauren Phillips

Many join the military as young high school graduates with dreams to become the best solider, Marine, sailor or airman they can be. Many achieve their dreams in the military and then enter civilian life.

The change from military life to civilian life can have different effects on many men and women. Many veterans start their civilian life in the work force or enroll in college classes.

Andrew Altizer served in the United States Air Force for eight years where he served at various Air Force bases including being stationed overseas in Japan. Altizer deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010.

Altizer decided to enroll in computer science classes at Kent State because of the university’s proximity to where he grew up. When Altizer came to Kent State, he decided to join the Air Force ROTC program.

“I already had a pretty good foundation to start with, but ROTC and the cadre helped me hone my skills and apply principles that I was not used to as an enlisted Airman,” Altizer said.

Altizer, a senior computer science major, currently serves on the ROTC command where he trains sophomore cadets to prepare them for field training.

“ROTC has helped me develop as a leader,” Altizer said. 

Last semester, he served as Cadet Wing Commander.

“That’s the lead cadet in charge of making sure everything in ROTC is running well,” Altizer said. “We are meeting the objectives that are required for all of our cadets, such as training requirements and physical training.”

Altizer is looking forward to graduation and his commissioning ceremony. After graduation, the Air Force ROTC will hold a commissioning ceremony for the graduating cadets. The commissioning ceremony officially commissions cadets as second lieutenants in the Air Force.

After the ceremony, Altizer said new officers will go to technical school where they will learn their new job in the Air Force. After technical school, they will then be assigned their first duty station as Air Force officers.

Lauren Phillips is the military and veterans reporter. Contact her at [email protected].