Three Students Evaluate Xavier Army ROTC

August 21, 2012

Three students attended the ROTC Leader’s Training Course, a four-phase, 28-day summer leadership course at Fort Knox. It is an opportunity for them to evaluate whether the Army is for them and for the Army to evaluate their potential to become Army officers. If they did not start Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) during their first year, they could qualify for entry into the Army ROTC Advanced Course starting junior year. During the program, students rappelled, solved complex military problems in small teams, ran obstacle courses, shot rifles, and met similar college students from across the nation. Each of the three Cadets earned an overall Excellent at the LTC, the highest achievable. All will continue with Xavier University’s All For One Army ROTC Battalion.

(25304) Mary Zekan of Charleston, WV is the daughter of Dr. Stephen & Mrs. Catherine Zekan. She is a senior nursing major at Xavier. “I chose ROTC because I felt I couldn't challenge myself enough both mentally and physically, so I wanted to see if the Army would be a good fit for me- and it has been,” she says. “I've been challenged in ways I never dreamed possible, and learned so much about myself along the way. LTC was definitely one of those challenges.”

(45107) Ashley Watkins of Blanchester, OH is the daughter of Robert & Vicki Watkins. She is a junior majoring in psychology at Xavier. “I considered ROTC because I’ve always wanted to join the military, and ROTC was the most suitable route for me,” she says. “LTC was a great experience. At first much was controlled by the drill sergeants, but as it progressed, cadets were put into leadership positions and given more independence. That helped make us more comfortable in leadership roles and we all learned valuable lessons. It was challenging and forced us to adapt to ever-changing situations and conditions.”

(41048) Benjamin Bessler of Hebron, KY is a junior accounting major at Northern Kentucky University, an affiliate school for Xavier Army ROTC. “I went to LTC so that I could get credit for MSI and MSII years as well as compete for a scholarship,” he says. “At LTC I learned the basics of being a soldier. We did a lot of fun things, as well, such as obstacle courses, stream crossing, and rapelling.”

The Army ROTC program has been a part of Xavier since 1936. Once mandatory for all freshmen and sophomores, the program is a college elective that leads to a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and normally includes an academic scholarship. Xavier's program also accepts students from Miami University, Northern Kentucky University, the College of Mt. St. Joseph and Thomas More College.

For more information about Xavier's Army ROTC program, contact 513-745-1066.