There are many options to consider after high school. A very noble and inspiring path to take is joining the Armed Forces.
There are many options for students involving the armed forces. Courtney Johnson and Whitley Lewis are prime examples. Johnson will be attending West Point Academy and Lewis will be attending NC State University and doing the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) while there.
ROTC is an intense college program that trains students to become officers. College students will go through all sorts of training while studying in college. Following graduation, ROTC students will be enlisted for a designated set of years in a particular branch of the armed forces. In return ROTC offers helps with tuition costs in college.
Lewis said, “My parents went to NC State, so I already liked the school, and when I found out that they had an ROTC program I definitely wanted to go there.”
Johnson, on the other hand, is going to a military academy where she will receive an education while being trained as a Cadet.
“When I visited West Point I loved the school. I loved the structure and challenge it presented,” said Johnson.
Joining any type of armed forces is a big decision. Defending your country is an honorable cause, but it also comes with numerous dangers.
Lewis said, “I don’t know exactly when I decided I wanted to go into the armed forces or who gave me the idea. It was probably around freshman year and at some point I just saw it as something I wanted to do.”
A difficult part of joining the armed forces also revolves around family.
When asked what her parents thought about her decision, Lewis chuckled. She said, “My parents are supportive of course, but they cannot help but worry.” It would be hard for any parent or family member to watch their loved one be put in danger, despite that it is to defend our country.
Johnson’s parents have similar thoughts. She said, “My parents are proud, but I know my mom is nervous about the idea.”
Another aspect is her gender. The face of the matter remains that there are not as many women as men in the armed forces. According to census.gov, 14% of the members of the armed forces are women.
The numbers mean nothing to Lewis, however.
“Choosing to go into ROTC is the right choice for me. I get to go to college first at a place I really like and then I get to continue into the army which is something else that is important to me,” said Lewis.
Johnson said, “I am a little nervous, but I am excited as well.”
Joining the armed forces is a honorable choice for college and for life. To Lewis, Johnson and anyone else going into the armed forces, we wish you good luck.