ROTC students prepare for demanding career - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

ROTC students prepare for demanding career

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- The decision to join a branch of the armed forces is one that is never taken lightly, but those who do answer the call understand the sacrifice they will be asked to make.

The Reserve Officers Training Corps or ROTC was created to prepare young men and women to become commissioned officers. The decision to take part of this program is one that takes a lot of thought and for students Carl Beck and Ben Ditri it was family decision.

"My dad actually sat me down after a report card in high school and he told me, 'Do you want to be the one receiving orders or giving orders?' and ever since that day I decided I wanted to be the one giving orders. I want to pursue a degree with the ROTC and do something in that way. My dad just passed away last may so those words mean even more to me now," said Beck.

"We decided, me, my parents, my whole family, and my grandpa was in the Army for over 20 years and we decided it's an important thing to do to serve your country," said Ditri.

Lieutenant Colonel John Roadcap is the department head for UNI's ROTC program. It is his responsibility to make sure these students are prepared for their demanding career.

"One of the things with ROTC is we teach you, yeah study, work hard, and take the exam, but things may not turn out alright. When you deal with life situations and things that involve people in different cultures just because you do everything right doesn't mean it will turn out all right," said Roadcap.

Beck and Ditri admit this is not a career choice for everyone, but for them it was the right thing to do.

"It was a big decision with the conflicts going on. It's something that will put a strain on my family and my future, but it's something I'm willing to let weigh out because I know through the Army I will develop skills I wouldn't have been able to do in any other sector of life or being a civilian. I know that this is the right decision for me," said Beck.

"It's not a nine to five job obviously when you're in Afghanistan so you just got to think about what you're doing and you're doing it for a reason and you're there to protect your men and protect the civilians," said Ditri.

Currently there are 42 students who are part of UNI's ROTC program. UNI also partners with the University of Dubuque where 64 students are enrolled.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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