Preparing the Soldiers of Tomorrow Right Here in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/26/03

Preparing the Soldiers of Tomorrow Right Here in Lubbock

Lieutenant Colonel David Reid shouts orders to Texas Tech students. "Exhale up, inhale down!" he shouts to future Army soldiers. He accepts nothing less than 100%. "What you need to show us here is how many correct push-ups you can do and not how many crappy push-ups you can do, okay?" he tells one cadet.

Outside of class, these 50 cadets are preparing to become Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army. "The thing that separates our army from other armies in the world is our education and training system that continues throughout our career," says Lieutenant Colonel David Reid.

A career that can last a few years or a lifetime starts right here, with rigorous exercise and fitness tests every month. With these tests, each cadet keeps track of his or her improvement. After two minutes of grueling push-ups and sit ups its time for an early morning two mile run. "It makes sure everyone stays in shape up to Army standards," says Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Justin Williams, "I joined first of all just it's a good experience I've learned a lot about leadership and it pays for college."

"It provides a lot of leadership and a lot of skills you wouldn't get going to school as the average college student," says cadet 2nd Lieutenant Colonel Christel Garcia.

Without this program, cadets say they would miss out on experience they'll use in future jobs or even combat. "Being in charge of a platoon making the decisions that being in a tactical environment, making the decisions that could actually be the difference between a soldier being killed or accomplishing a mission," says cadet Lt. Col. Joe Contreras.

Being in the ROTC program makes these cadets ineligible for active duty in the war. But upon graduation army ROTC cadets will go to basic training for several weeks before they receive their assignments in the Army.

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