Hard work pays off in the end. That is the motto for cadets Kirk Shoemaker and Katie Porter. Shoemaker and Porter, both cadets in the U.S. Army ROTC, placed in the top 10 percent for the ROTC’s 2010 National Order of Merit List. The cadets competed with 4,700 other cadets from around the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
The National Order of Merit List is based on 40 percent academics, 15 percent physical fitness, and 45 percent on leadership positions as well as their overall camp score.
Typically, the Army places ROTC cadets where they are needed, but cadets in the top 10 percent are guaranteed first choice on their branch.
“Anyone in ROTC should work very hard. If you want to slack off, then you get what the Army gives you,” Shoemaker said. He noted that being in the top 10 percent shows a diligence in time management and commitment to ROTC and academics, skills the ROTC values as forecasters of leadership ability.
“I branched Military Intelligence, which is a very hard branch to get. In order to get this choice, you have to at least be in the top 10 percent,” Porter said.
This is something that Shoemaker and Porter, both senior intelligence studies majors, have been working on ever since they were freshmen. They have at least a 3.5 GPA, done even as they work out for three hours daily.
“There is nothing unusual about Katie and (me). The only thing is, I worked very hard. I really wanted to do well and based upon that desire to do well, I scored well, but it is all about hard work and time invested,” Shoemaker said.
“Academics are crucial, especially your freshman and sophomore years,” Porter said. “It’s also crucial to be proactive in your ROTC or even just in general and in school. Seek advice, seek guidance and look to those people who have succeeded before you,” Porter said.
Upon graduation, both cadets will commission in May and further their careers. Shoemaker plans to go into infantry and then military intelligence.
Porter intends to be a Gold Bar Recruiter and will help out with recruiting on campuses before going to military intelligence school in Arizona.
The cadets are satisfied with their achievement.
“This is a goal I’ve had since I got here. I’m satisfied that I was able to achieve it,” Shoemaker said.
“It’s humbling that you work so hard and you finally get it,” Porter said.
The advice these senior cadets offer to other cadets is to “study hard and don’t slack off.”