High school students got to experience a day in the life of a Shippensburg University Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadet during the Cadet for a Day program Thursday.
The Cadet for a Day program provides current high school students with the opportunity to come to SU’s campus and assigns a cadet for them to follow around for a day. They are able to sit through college classes, tour the campus and ask questions. It gives students a taste of the college experience in hopes of recruiting them to SU and the ROTC program. It also recognizes SU’s cadets.
The students participating are not just from Shippensburg.
With approximately 40 high school students and around 90 ROTC SU students, they are hoping that they will leave with a little bit of interest and knowledge of ROTC and the university.
Senior geoenvironmental studies major Cadet Sam Soliday said ROTC was the best decision he has ever made.
“It is the smartest root to becoming an officer in the army. It truly trains one into becoming a leader,” Soliday said.
At the end of the program, the ROTC brought in military equipment including a Boeing CH-47 Chinook. Soliday called it an air bus used to transport soldiers.
The helicopter can hold 29,000 pounds of equipment and can hook equipment to the bottom of it. It is used to transport vehicles and medical evacuation, parachute out of and land in water to get rafts in and out. The helicopter will fill up with water in order for the rafts to float.
“Hopefully this is the big event to hook them,” Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Wright said.
Wright’s job is to train SU ROTC students, and he hopes to recruit more from this program.
“They’re all going to be great leaders, they make my job fun,” he said.
For incoming high school students, the exposure and getting rid of the possible intimidation factor about college is an important step.
“We all put our pants on one leg at a time,” Wright said.
The program is important to the university and ROTC for recruitment, but also for the high school students.
“This is important, not only for the students, but the raider battalion,” Soliday said. “To spread the word and awareness of what ROTC is and the opportunities it offers.”