Eight ROTC Cadets receive scholarships

Mackenzie Zent, Staff writer

On Aug. 28, the Pride of Pennsylvania Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) accepted eight new cadets from Mercyhurst University into the program. This exciting accomplishment means that these cadets are now fully contracted into the program and will begin earning commissions for the United States Army.

Along with this, the students also received two-year national scholarships for school through the ROTC Board.

Mercyhurst University joined the “Pride of Pennsylvania” Battalion during the 1990s in order to offer support for students who are interested in a military career. The mission of the ROTC program is “to recruit, retain, develop and commission the future officer leadership of the United States Army and motivate young people to be better citizens through support of local JROTC programs.”

The ROTC program at Mercyhurst is very demanding and time consuming, yet very rewarding. Not all students who participate in the program are required to serve in the army, but those who decide to contract plan on furthering their military careers after graduation.

The number of students contracted into the army is now 38 at Mercyhurst, which does include the addition of the eight new cadets.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to serve my country and represent those who have served- past and present,” said Lilly English, one of the eight cadets that recently contracted.

English is a sophomore criminal justice major here at Mercyhurst and has been involved in the ROTC program since the beginning of her freshman year.

She knew she wanted to be in the ROTC program when she was in high school, so finally contracting was an important moment for her.

With ROTC comes a large amount of responsibility and a lot of hard work. The program is physically demanding and pushes students to be their very best.

Cadets are required to attend physical training in the morning three times a week and take part in physical fitness labs. All of this training is to help them pass their physical fitness test to be allowed to contract.

Not only is being physically fit important, being academically fit for the program is a requirement as well. This means that keeping up a GPA of 2.5 or higher is extremely important.

After commissioning, the cadets will be going straight into the army as leaders, so this is an important aspect of the program. They will go on to become officers in the US army, commissioning initially as second lieutenants.

Along with leadership, military skills are also built as well as career preparation. This is useful for their time in the army and continuing their careers in the degree they graduated with after they retire from the military.

“I am learning a lot about becoming a better leader and overall a better person, and I hope this will continue throughout my ROTC career,” said English.

Contracting into the army is a huge milestone in the military careers of these eight students, and a big accomplishment. The eight newest contracted cadets should be very proud of themselves.

If you are interested in joining the ROTC program at Mercyhurst or have any questions, reach out to Captain Sergio Franco at sfranco@mercyhurst.edu.