WEB EXCLUSIVE: ROTC more popular in coming semester at Trumbull

Katherine Colucy

Enrollment in the Army ROTC on the Trumbull Campus has more than tripled for next semester.

The program, which is an extension of the Army ROTC program on the Kent campus, currently has two cadets but will have seven in the spring.

Maj. Ken Fox, who runs the program on the Trumbull campus, said he thinks the reason enrollment has increased is because the program has become more visible on campus.

 “I think we have tripled because we got the word out and students could visit us on campus,” Fox said. “This semester, being the first time ROTC was at Trumbull, we were a test class. I think students had to watch and listen from the current students to make sure this was a good class, and I think we succeeded.”

The program at the Trumbull campus is run similarly to the one on the Kent campus. Cadets attend a class and a leadership lab once a week.

One difference between the programs is that cadets on the Trumbull campus are responsible for conducting physical training on their own, instead of with other cadets and instructors.

“We don’t have physical training due to work schedules and class conflicts,” Fox said. “We do provide classes on physical training during our leadership labs.”

Sophomore accounting major Tierra Cayson said not having group physical training made some of the labs difficult.

“Since there was only myself and another cadet, we didn’t have personal training throughout the semester like other campuses. So when Major Fox took us to workout (during lab), we struggled with the running and pushups,” Cayson said.

Another difference between the programs is that the Trumbull program only offers the first year of Army ROTC courses.

Maj. Joe Paydock, admissions officer for the Army ROTC, said the reason for having the program on the Trumbull campus is to get cadets interested, so they will come to the program on the Kent campus.

Paydock said if cadets from the Trumbull campus wish to continue in the program and become officers, they would have to either transfer or drive to the Kent campus for the next three years of classes and labs.

Cayson said she isn’t going to take the class next semester because she is transferring to another college but is glad she had the opportunity to take it.

 “I still think it is a great class to take just for the experience,” Cayson said. “I enjoyed the water challenge we just did for our final exam where we had to do different tasks in the water with our uniforms on and fake rifles in our hands. Even if you aren’t considering joining the service, this is a fun class to take. You will leave the program knowing a lot, and you’ll have a greater respect for the people that serve our country.”

Fox said his job will be easier next semester and the leadership labs will be more productive because they will have more cadets to do things like squad training.

Currently, when there is training that requires more than two cadets, they travel to Youngstown State to participate in the lab.

“Since Youngstown is closer to Trumbull than to Kent, we travel there three to four times per semester to participate in their leadership lab,” Fox said. “We conduct land navigation training, individual movement techniques, water survival training and squad or platoon tactics. It gives the cadets a chance to learn a skill, interact with upper-class cadets and meet their peers.”

Cayson also said she thinks it will be easier to have more cadets in the program.

“It’s a lot more fun with more people involved, and you are also encouraged more,” Cayson said.

Contact ROTC reporter Katherine Colucy at [email protected].