Jerica Deck | Campus Editor
After a century promoting service and leadership, the ROTC Program at Hampton University just celebrated its 100 year Anniversary during the week. This past February, the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) hosted several fun and educating events. Each event showcased different elements of military life including history, a panel discussion, and even a movie night.
“Hampton University has a long standing tradition of producing top quality officers,” said LTC Yusef E. Good in an interview with Hampton University. “We are honored to recognize the legacy of those officers who have done so much for our nation on active duty, in the Reserves, in the National Guard and in the civilian sector.”
The Army ROTC program is an elective that prepares students to join the Army. Although it gives students the skills to join the military, they are not forced to enter the Army after being a part of the program. Still, anyone who participates in the program will gain leadership skills, knowledge, and experience helping the community. The ROTC program also provides scholarships for its members and encourages academic excellence as well.
To celebrate the many years that this program has helped students at Hampton, the program held various events on campus. On February 6, the week started off with a bang with a helicopter landing. After landing a helicopter on the university’s practice football filed, ROTC Cadets learned more about aircraft procedures. Here they learned about air safety and other information.
A few days later, they held a panel featuring military Alumni like LTC (R) Claude Vann. On the 10th, the panel discussed the History and Impacts of Hampton’s ROTC Program. Here they gave more insight as to how the program was started, and what it’s accomplished in the past one hundred years. Panelist LTC (R) Claude Vann is a retired Army veteran who values community. This Hampton University Military Alumni President is also a member of the Red Cross and the Tidewater Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. Within the chapter he’s previously served as the president, vice president, and chairman.
Hampton University news reported that Vann said “Long before there was an ROTC, Brigadier General Armstrong saw the value in military training which benefited Hamptonians such as: Booker T. Washington, the Tuskegee Airmen, Montford Point Marines, and many others who took the pledge to protect our Nation and our way of life.”
The program also held a second panel on the 11th. This panel focused on the lives of cadets. Here they discussed the ins and outs of being Cadet including obstacles, day to day life, and of course their commitment to service. Both panels occurred in McGrew towers
Finally to end the series on a positive note, they gathered Cadets and other Hampton students together to enjoy a movie night. In Turner Hall on the 12th, students could enjoy the movie Red Tails. Red tails is a movie set during World War II where thirteen African American cadets enter a program at Tuskegee University in Alabama. These Tuskegee Airmen overcome racism and other obstacles to become true heroes. This story is easy for students of color to connect with, especially when those students are studying military sciences.
Hampton’s Army ROTC program has provided scholarships and education to many students over the year. After 100 years of helping students develop into leaders, the ROTC program will continue to benefit many other students looking to join the armed forces.