A-State ROTC program turns 80

A State ROTC is eighty years old
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas State University is celebrating after the ROTC program turned 80 years old.

September through November, the Military Science Department on campus host a number of events related to the ROTC's anniversary.

OK Company Commander Hayden Blankenship has been in the ROTC at A-State for two years.

"PT, number one, keeps me in shape. The tactical training is insight into what real combat will look like," Blankenship said.

Junior Dana Sanchez joined the program her sophomore year at A-State.

She loved the fact that there are so many different types of people in the program.

"There are a lot of people with different majors. From biology, pre-med, to engineering to political science. So, anytime I have a problem with anything I can come here and someone will always have an answer," Sanchez said.

Blankenship said he's learned a lot.

"Responsibility," Blankenship said. "I've taken on multiple responsibilities since this program. I've also enlisted. So, ROTC has taught me that every man or woman that's able should serve. It's just a duty that a lot of people don't value anymore."

"Here we're learning how to be leaders, of course," Sanchez said. "We're learning about military tactics and how we would lead our soldiers in battle. And also, how we should live every day. You can learn a lot of things like leadership, confidence, and resilience."

Blankenship said ROTC is also a good way to meet new people on campus.

"You meet people who hold the army values," Blankenship said. "It's the people that make ROTC great. Not just the program because the people are the program."

"ROTC is my second home. You can learn fitness or how to work with a team. We have the opportunity to be in leadership positions. You can commission and join the army from here," Sanchez said. "I'm contracted and I plan on joining the army when I graduate and become an army doctor, hopefully."

There are 105 A-State students in the ROTC program.

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