Looking for leaders

Abby Fisher

ROTC recruitment pursues nursing

Recruiting officer Joe Paydock doesn’t embrace any of the military stereotypes of over-assertiveness and hyper-aggression.

The ROTC enrollment and scholarship officer is all about making connections with students and getting them excited about becoming leaders. One of Paydock’s duties each semester is to create advertising campaigns for students who are interested in joining ROTC.

“One thing I don’t do is corner people,” Paydock said. “I try to be open, and give the information to students who are looking for it.”

Paydock said it is important to be a visible person on campus, and he wants students to recognize his face.

He added that the Army and National Guard have a much broader void to fill and quotas to meet.

“We always want students who are scholars, athletes and leaders,” he said, “but we don’t want to push people into a specific mold.”

Not everyone who takes a ROTC course will be in the army, he said.

“People can come and see what we’re about without worrying about the commitment,” Paydock said. “I don’t hype the Army — we want students to be excited about being leaders of men and women.”

Students who are already enrolled at Kent State can also become ROTC cadets, Paydock added. ROTC is especially looking for nurses, for whom there are many scholarships available.

Freshman nursing major Amanda Perfetto has been with ROTC for two weeks, and is still energized about the program.

“My mom was not excited at all for me to do it,” she said. “But my uncle said it was a good idea and really encouraged me.”

Perfetto had always thought about joining the military, and is looking into the National Guard.

Ray Gillen, freshman exercise physiology major, said he always has wanted to be in ROTC. Like Perfetto, whose uncle was in the Coast Guard, Gillen’s family contains military background — his father is a retired colonel.

He said he filled out college applications at schools where ROTC was offered. Now on full scholarship at Kent State, Gillen can graduate as a commissioned officer in the Army.

Coming into Kent State, Gillen said he wasn’t apprehensive about meeting new people or finding a group.

“The most interesting aspect of ROTC is to see how close the other cadets are,” Gillen said.

For more information about ROTC, visit http://dept.kent.edu/rotc.

Contact ROTC reporter Abby Fisher at [email protected].