Military science to military service

ROTC Program offers students the opportunities to get a taste of military life while getting their degree

Ferris ROTC students stand at attention as an American flag is raised on campus. Photo submitted by Chanella Garcia

Ferris’ Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is providing opportunities to students inside and outside of the classroom.

Ferris’ ROTC program is a way for students to get experience with military science and, should students decide to sign a contract for the military, a scholarship, monthly stipend and a book advance.

“For all students we offer the benefit of having a true insight to how the U.S. Army operates, with real opportunities to train and act as a soldier without having to be one,” Ferris assistant professor of military science and 2LT Chanella Garcia said. “The first step for any student who is interested in ROTC is signing up for the military science classes. They sign-up the same way they would for any other class.

“If [the students] are looking to have the military be part of their life during and after college, then they have the opportunity to sign a contract with us. This contract locks them into a position where they get paid while going to college and while training to be an officer in the U.S. Army. They also have the opportunity to apply and receive scholarships during the contracting process for tuition or room and board.”

Some Ferris students, such as Jennifer Orent, decided to enter the ROTC program and military early on because of family.

“I knew from a young age I wanted to be an officer. My parents were both in the Navy and they always told my brother and I that if they could go back, they would have went the officer route, so I am doing what they couldn’t,” Orent said.

Others decide to join because of an urge to help people while getting their degrees.

“I wanted to broaden my ability to lead others and be the most effective servant leader I could for the people and soldiers around me,” Ferris manufacturing engineering and ROTC student Andrew Smolinski said, “I would like to pursue becoming an officer in the US Army, while still seeking a Bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering.”

Both students mentioned the need for dedication in order to enter the ROTC program, particularly if a student chose to sign a contract and enter the military.

Anyone interested in the Ferris State ROTC program can find information through the Ferris website as well as in their office, in room 626 of Bishop Hall.