BY Anaya Vance
Sacred Heart, alongside seven local universities, including Yale, offers The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program to students who are interested in becoming Air Force officers while earning a college degree. The program provides college students with the leadership and critical thinking skills needed to succeed as leaders for the Air Force and the nation.
“I was the first class at SHU to commission from the program along with Nick Cavallone and Curtis Quinn. The program at Yale is truly amazing, you learn a lot. It will challenge you in a way that no other program offered at SHU will! That isn’t to say that it is too hard, but that it is different and an incredible opportunity,” said Lieutenant Mark Boyle.
Mark Boyle along with Nick Cavallone, and Curtis Quinn are the first SHU students to cycle through SHU’s crosstown agreement with Yale’s ROTC Program.
“ROTC clearly had a direct impact on my career because it is how I was able to commission and become a 2nd Lieutenant! The training I received was invaluable especially the leadership lessons,” said Lieutenant Boyle.
The program aims to educate, train, and prepare cadets for the life in the Air Force. It offers a four-year curriculum where students learn the foundation of the US Air Force, Military History of the West, The Evolution of Air & Space Power, US Air Force Leadership Studies, and National Security Affairs as well as preparation for active-duty. The program also entails students to attend classes at Yale twice a week as well as a two-week summer program.
Air Force ROTC also offers scholarships that are awarded annually to, high school students, college students and current cadets. It is based upon a competitive, merit-based selection process including GPA, Fitness, and AFOQT or SAT scores. The award includes paid tuition, books, and a tax-free stipend that are available for qualified students in technical, nursing, foreign language, and many other fields.
“The military is not for everyone, but I do believe there is a place in the military for anyone, and the training you receive is second to none. You also get to meet some truly amazing people! Some of the most inspiring and influential people lead our nations military and going through the ROTC program, you get to take advantage of learning about these peoples’ careers and receiving quality mentor ship,” said Lieutenant Boyle.
It is best for students interested in the program and actively participating in the life of an Air Force officer to get involved in either their freshmen or sophomore year.
“Freshmen and sophomores can qualify, but it is best to enter the program as a freshmen. Any student interested in joining the program should contact the Yale ROTC office and speak directly to one of the commanding officers,” said Professor Gary Rose.
Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Government Gary Rose is the liaison with the program, in which he conducts information sessions to describe the cross-town program to prospective students.
“There a number of different functions I perform as the liaison that in one way or another help with the visibility and activity of the program,” said Rose.
Sacred Heart has had a relationship with the Air Force ROTC Program for six years and recruit about 10 students per year into the program.
“We welcome all inquiries and encourage Sacred Heart students to apply. Each of the last three years Sacred Heart has hosted our Fall military dinner and we appreciate all that the university does to support it’s student participants. Dr. Rose, the Sacred Heart University representative to our program, is a fantastic resource and we value his lasting contributions to the success we have here at AFROTC Detachment 009,” said Colonel Thomas D. McCarthy.