Spring 2021 Graduates are Commisioned as Milltary Officers
At the beginning of May 2021, commissioning ceremonies will be held for 87 USF Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets and midshipmen. With this time-honored tradition, these candidates will take the oath of office and be commissioned as an officer into one of the branches of the U.S. military: Army, Airforce, or Navy/Marines.
As students enter the ROTC program, they contract to become a military officer. During their tenure, students gain extensive academic, community, and leadership experience. Upon earning their degree and completing the ROTC program, the Airforce and Army cadets and Navy midshipmen join a legacy of America’s military leaders.
Each new incoming class receives a special orientation and in addition to their educational training, each branch offers several off campus military field trainings for students throughout their four years. These include summer cruises, boot camps, officer candidate school boot camps, and Army Advanced Camp.
ROTC students support USF’s Student Success goals by graduating within four years and are placed into a military leadership job when they leave the university with a degree. Each branch has scholarships available to recruits with different requirements and offerings to students.
USF hosts residential hall ROTC Living Learning Community (LLC) where mostly freshman reside, along with ROTC resident advisor. Through the LLC, students benefit the “typical” on-campus college experience, while also receiving extra military related experiences, increased bonding with ROTC classmates, special events with housing, panel discussions, field trips, and enhanced professional and social experiences.
ROTC students must achieve the same academic requirements as other students, but they are responsible for completing strict military leadership milestones, as well. This includes academic military knowledge, physical standards and military bearings such as leadership and decision-making skills.
The life of a cadet and midshipmen is focused on leadership. Students are involved in the community by hosting events such as organizing and judging Junior ROTC (high school ROTC) drill and marching events, organizing and spending time with elderly military or volunteering with food drives. Seniors run the ROTC programming and implement training to build on their own leadership skills and teach others how to lead. Training is broad, ranging from military customs and courtesy to combat arms.
The ROTC programs at USF can be found on the St. Petersburg and Tampa campus, as well as through USF’s Cross-town Partnership with other local universities and colleges, including Hillsborough Community College, St. Petersburg College, Saint Leo College, University of Tampa, and others. Approximately 500 cadets and midshipmen are part of the Cross-town ROTC programs.
“The biggest personal takeaway cadets have from the ROTC experience is a strong self-confidence in their abilities and who they are,” said Mac Koskosy, Captain, USAF, Assistant professor of Aerospace Studies.