What follows is the experience of an IMT (freshman) cadet from the University of New Haven (UNH) during a typical week of ROTC.
On the weekends, I would normally get my ROTC bag ready for the week ahead. I would make sure to shine my shoes, and I would make sure my PT uniform was ready to go. I even used a separate towel set for ROTC to make sure I didn’t forget to bring one for after PT. On nights before ROTC (Mondays and Wednesdays), I would go to dinner, shower, and be in bed by 2000. This may seem extreme to people outside of ROTC, but when you are waking up at 0430 the next morning, it is worth it. I would also fill my water bottle the night before, and have all of my PT gear laid out on my desk so that I could put my clothes on without having to look for them in the dark.In the morning, I gave myself ample time to get ready so that I didn’t show up to PT late and stressed out. I was lucky because I had very supportive roommates that didn’t mind me going to bed and getting up super early!
Going to bed at 2000 may seem extreme to people outside of ROTC, but when you are waking up at 0430 the next morning, it is worth it.”
The ride to Yale takes about 15 minutes in the morning so we would leave at 0520 to give us some extra time. I always rode with the upperclassmen because freshmen are not allowed to have cars on campus. The carpool was organized right before school started in August by one of the POC at UNH. While you can carpool to Yale for PT, you will most likely have to go to the detachment for a meeting on your own. You may have to Uber to the Det, but always reach out to the upperclassmen and see if they can give you a ride!
After finising with ROTC, we would typically make it back to UNH by 1000 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I would go to breakfast with friends and then go to my 1050 class. The 1050 class worked with my shedule, but keep in mind that ROTC class times can always change. Make sure to keep your advisor in the loop about ROTC, and they will be more than happy to help you! As an ROTC cadet you have the privilege of registering after seniors as “special population” to make sure that you can register for classes that don’t interfere with ROTC.
Make sure to keep your advisor in the loop about ROTC, they are more than happy to help you!”
AFROTC is a very large commitment, and it does take some time to get used to it all. However, this does not mean that you won’t be able to join other clubs or participate in activities on campus! I play Division II tennis for UNH, I was president of my residence hall, I joined a few clubs, made Dean’s list both semesters, and I still had time to hang out with my friends! If you are curious and want to learn more, come visit us at the Fall Involvement Fair on campus!