For me, the college decision was not all that difficult. I knew I wanted to pursue a college education, but I also knew I wanted to serve in the United States Air Force. I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about doing both, until I learned about Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (AFROTC). I had attended a high school with a Junior ROTC program so I had a sense of what the program was, but had never considered it for myself. I began to research AFROTC, almost obsessively, until I made a firm decision to apply for an AFROTC scholarship for college. I spent months going through the lengthy application process, which even included an in-person interview with an Officer in the United States Air Force. In addition to the application itself, I also met with recruiting commanders for different schools’ detachments and visited the different schools that offered the program. Everything I learned while talking with recruiters and visiting the detachments made me love the idea of serving even more and was extremely hopeful I would be selected as a recipient. ROTC scholarships are awarded on a very selective and competitive level, so I had prepared myself for the possibility of not being selected. However, in late November of 2016, I received an email informing me I had been awarded a 4-year Type-7 Air Force ROTC scholarship. I read the email two times through before I really registered what I had read. Almost immediately, I began the acceptance process. This process included a DoDMERB Physical, which is essentially a military medical check up, as well as a review of your medical history. I encountered two remedial requests for minor injuries, but finally received the ‘Qualified’ status. I was not only relieved, but extremely excited to know that in just a few short months I would begin my journey as a cadet.
As for my college decision, I have decided to attend the University of St. Thomas (UST) in St. Paul, MN. Of all the detachments I visited I felt most drawn to St. Thomas’ and could really picture myself being a part of their program. As I have yet to begin my actual classes at UST, I feel I cannot share further about the school or AFROTC program since I have not gotten the full experience yet. I do expect to do a post later in the year regarding those two topics.