One of the Best Decisions I've Ever Made
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One of the Best Decisions I've Ever Made

The start of my journey through AF-ROTC

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One of the Best Decisions I've Ever Made
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Recently I had joined AF-ROTC (Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps). I didn't want to publicly announce this until I knew I would be commissioning but I am so in love with this program, that I can't hold it in. This was a long time coming, but I am so thankful that I joined when I did. Since 8th grade, I've wanted to serve in some sort of branch in the military but I hadn't fully thought on what branch I wanted specifically. My great-grandpa had always wanted to be in the Air Force, along with my mothers dad. I'm so happy to do this on behalf of them. USAF is different than a lot of the other military branches. Other military branches like to call us the "Chair Force". I think we're the brains. (hehe) I want to serve my country but I also want to start a family, and experience that life when I'm young as well. USAF allows you to do that. That was a huge deciding factor in my decision. Luckily my close friends and family are extremely supportive of me and can't wait to see where this journey takes me. I'm right along with them. I'm only a month in to ROTC classes, PT and Lead Lab's but I already know that I made the right decision, and this decision will change my life forever. For the longest time throughout high school, Crohn's had held me back from doing a lot of things, and I'm not going to let that happen anymore. I'm doing this for me, and those that I love.

When I first started going to classes, I noticed the family aspect. One part of our Airman's Creed is, "I will never leave a wingman behind." Once a wingman, always a wingman - and that is one of the best feelings. Knowing that the men and women on your team will always support you inside and outside of ROTC, help you and wish the best for you, whether you're stationed with them in the end or not, is one of the most rewarding experiences. I find myself listening to Top Gun soundtrack more and more now, walking taller, and feeling more proud to be an American. It's amazing how quickly your life changes when you're introduced to the Airmen life.

My second favorite part of ROTC is the respect we all have for one another, and those around us. "Sir", and "Ma'am" are every other word in our vocabulary. When our elders walk across in front of us, we always greet them. Everyone uses such respectful language, and you don't see that often nowadays anymore. I do believe that the Air Force does use the most amount of acronyms you're allowed to in a sentence like ever.. it's insane. You never put one of your wingmen down, you only lift them up. I have so many new friends from this program. I have so many new role models to look up to - pushing me to strive to be my best.

Another great reason I love ROTC, is the motivation and strive to do better in ROTC itself and in your personal life. We are constantly working to be better wingmen and people as cadets. We are constantly wanting our wingmen to become better cadets as well. During our labs, one of our POC's (Professional Officer Corp) asks us what our "Internal Motivation" is. Why do we get up so early 4 of the 7 days of the week. Why do we keep coming back? What makes us keep pushing ourselves to get better? I have thought a lot about that and my answer keeps changing every time. Knowing that there is always more room to learn, and always more knowledge to have makes learning in this program so much fun. We all eat, sleep and breathe ROTC.

If you're worried about working out, that's another bonus to becoming an Airman. We have PT twice a week, and are encouraged to workout outside of ROTC to keep up the pace. It's pretty rigorous, but super worth it when you start noticing changes in your body. The intensity of your wing running together, chanting together, motivating each other is absolutely insane. I get goosebumps every time we work out. But then again, talking about ROTC in general gives me goosebumps. Earlier this week we started working on marching and, WHOA! Marching is probably one of the most intimidating things in ROTC, to me at least. You have to focus on where you're walking, who you're listening to, what they're saying, how you're marching, all without looking anywhere but the back of your wingman's head. I can only imagine what it looks like from the outside though, and that's nothing less than amazing. Looking through pictures of all of us in uniform, aligned looking fantastic is so worth the pain. Embrace the suck.

I could go on and on about this program, and I feel like this article was a lot of information in a short amount of words. I feel like I just word vomited all over the internet and hoped it made sense to others.

Us Airmen live the core values day to day, all day. That is the best practice to become an officer. My ideal plan is to work Air & Flight, Arts & Humanity, or Operations & Administration. I am proud to say I'm on my way to becoming an Air Force Officer, and I cannot wait to protect and serve.

I'm hoping by next summer I'll head off to FT down south, and come back with my prop and wings.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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