Senior cadets receive future assignments

Katherine Colucy

Dan Huff, senior justice studies major, found out he was assigned to the infantry branch of the Army on Nov. 14.

Credit: Ben Breier

When he graduates in May, senior justice studies major Dan Huff will begin his dream job as an active-duty infantry officer in the Army.

Huff, along with the other seniors in the Army ROTC, was recently informed which branch of the Army he will go into when he graduates.

The branch cadets are assigned to will tell them what type of job they will do as an officer in the Army. For example, a cadet assigned to the aviation branch might be responsible for control tower operations or maintenance.

To decide which of the 17 branches cadets are assigned to, a board of Army officers rank cadets based on grades, military activities, physical fitness, extracurricular activities and athletic activities. The board also decides if cadets will be in the National Guard, Reserve or active duty.

Lt. Col. Dean Costas, director of the Army ROTC, said high-ranking cadets are usually more likely to get one of their top branch choices.

“Branching is based on the needs of the Army and the cadet preferences,” Costas said. “Branching is very competitive. Infantry is the most competitive.”

Huff, who ranked very high among cadets around the nation, listed infantry as his number one choice.

“When you think about the Army, the (infantry) is the branch everyone pictures,” Huff said. “They are the ones that are doing the type of stuff that I think of when I think of the military, and that’s getting the job done, the doers. I see myself as a doer more than a manager of systems or somebody that helps in the effort.”

Huff said he also chose the infantry because he wants the opportunity to lead soldiers during combat.

“The last couple years I’ve been deciding what I wanted to do, but infantry was my number one choice,” Huff said. “It is the primary maneuver unit for the Army. Infantry is one of the only branches that you can lead soldiers in combat. You are directly influencing other guys and the mission they are carrying out.”

Huff said he hopes to be deployed to Iraq because he has always wanted to serve his country.

“I think you join the military to make some kind of impact, and Iraq is where you can make the greatest impact right now,” Huff said.

Matt Robinson, another senior cadet and a business management major, said he was not concerned about what branch he got, as long as he got an active-duty slot, so he could be stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., with his wife, who is currently deployed to Iraq.

“I didn’t really care what branch I got,” Robinson said. “All I really wanted was to be stationed with her. I didn’t care if I was changing bedpans. I just want to be at Fort Benning with my wife.”

Unfortunately, Robinson did not get an active-duty slot.

“We kind of got thrown a curve ball,” Robinson said. “We were both pretty sure I was going to get an active-duty slot, and I didn’t. Now I have to find a National Guard or Reserve unit near her that has an opening and is willing to accept me.”

Robinson said he was disappointed because he wanted to be in active duty, and now he will only be serving one weekend a month.

“Usually through college if you’re going to get job, you are preparing your resume and looking at your options,” Robinson said. “I kind of just blew all that off because I thought I was going to be active duty in the Army, but then I didn’t get it. I’ll find something though; I’m not too worried about it.”

Robinson said although he is disappointed, he understands why he didn’t get an active-duty slot.

“There are only so many active-duty slots that can be given out every year in the Army. When they run out, they run out and the rest get Guard and Reserve,” Robinson said.

Robinson will graduate in December and then will have to go to officer training for up to six months. He said even though he didn’t get the active-duty slot he hoped for, he is still excited to spend time with his wife when he is done with his training.

“I’m excited about actually being able to live together and be husband and wife,” Robinson said. “Ever since we’ve been married, every time we see each other it’s like we are visiting. One of us has a suitcase, and that’s really awkward. Eventually it’s going to end, and we talk about that a lot.”

Contact ROTC reporter Katherine Colucy at [email protected].