Army ROTC News
Army ROTC cadets had plenty of opportunities to learn through experiences this semester.
National Conference on Ethics in America
By Cadet Michael Marino ’19
My experience attending the National Conference on Ethics in America at West Point was both surprising and enlightening.
There were a variety of speakers there who provided an even wider variety of ideas on questions ranging from what ethics actually are to their role in society. These speakers included renowned military leaders such as Gen. Raymond Odierno and Gen. Robert Caslen, as well as civilian leaders such as Christian Picciollini and Trisha Prabhu.
Although I learned a great deal of life and leadership lessons, the one I would like to offer is the idea that ethics cannot be clearly defined or quantified.
Throughout the conference, we discussed definitions and approaches to ethics. Although many of them were strong definitions and held a great deal of truth, not one definition could deliver you the entire message in one sentence.
I have come to believe, vague as it may seem, ethics are a commitment that must come from the heart and are rooted in the specific beliefs that each individual deems to be the most important. Ethics are the commitment to choose the harder right over the easier wrong in every situation, no matter the consequences.
George C. Marshall Conference
By Cadet Brian Kehs ’18
The George C. Marshall Conference took place over four days at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, at the Command and General Staff College.
Countless amazing Army leaders, including Maj. Gen. Christopher Hughes, Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, Lt. Gen. Mark Twitty, and Gen. David Perkins, spoke to a group of 300 cadets from across the nation about the many lessons they have learned over their careers in the Army. They shared advice they wish they had known when they first commissioned and gave tips on how to be successful second lieutenants.
We learned from first-hand accounts about the battles of Thunder Run and Najaf and the takeaways each leader had from both of those successful operations.
The focus of the conference was on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to recognize emotions in oneself and in others and to use them to guide behavior and influence others. The Army has realized the importance of this topic for leadership success, so as future Army leaders, we were taught ways to employ the concept of emotional intelligence during our careers.
The experience of attending the George C. Marshall Conference assisted me immensely in my professional development and made me eager for the opportunity to commission into the Army and lead soldiers in the very near future.
The Big Event at Virginia Tech
The Big Event is a student-run volunteer event that happens once a year, and this year’s took place April 8. This event allows the student body of Virginia Tech to connect with area residents and give back to the community by doing various service projects.
Fifty-five of our Army cadets jumped at the chance to help local residents, demonstrating what Army ROTC is all about, namely service before self. Cadets worked on four projects, one of which had cadets working on a farm where they did things such as tearing down old fencing, stacking firewood, and other small tasks that would have taken weeks.
The farm owner was impressed by the cadets’ dedication and positive attitude. Thanks to the cadets’ help, he would be able to start laying his corn seed a whole month earlier. Through The Big Event, our cadets were able to serve the community and build trust with the American people.