Housing community welcomes students in military training

by Lainie Fraser, Staff Writer

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program, or the ROTC, at San Diego State has been named one of the best leadership courses in the country by the U.S. Army and it serves the greater San Diego area by providing training and education for future officers of the U.S. armed forces.

At SDSU, the ROTC allows students to earn a degree while preparing for their future in the various branches of the armed forces. SDSU offers scholarships for students interested in committing service to the Air Force, Army and Navy.

“I joined the Aztec Battalion at SDSU because the benefits were too good to pass up,” engineering junior Eric Buenwell said. “I get to earn a degree, be a normal college student and prep for the navy. How can you say no to that?”

Many students like Buenwell are drawn to the program because of the opportunities it provides. Buenwell said he was nervous when he first arrived, but the residential learning community at SDSU made him feel at home.

At SDSU, the ROTC RLC welcomes students of all majors who are also receiving military training. The community provides them with a network of fellow students and mentors to keep them on track and involved.

“The learning community at San Diego State has made my time here as great as it is,” engineering sophomore John Woodson said. “It was amazing being surrounded by such motivated and inspired people who are in the exact same position as me. I found a family on this massive campus.”

The ROTC program at SDSU has made efforts to make being part of the Aztec Battalion as easy as possible for interested students. According to the Army ROTC website, courses can be taken at any of SDSU’s partner schools and applied to the SDSU program. This allows students in San Diego, San Marcos, Miramar and Point Loma to be Aztecs even if they can’t make it to the San Diego State campus.

The SDSU ROTC program is committed to helping students in all aspects of life. The learning community offers academic advising, career services as well as counseling and psychological services for current ROTC students and veterans.

Members of the Student Veterans Organization who are also enrolled in classes at SDSU are encouraged to apply to live at the Veterans House on campus. The SDSU Veterans House opened in 2009 as the first one of its kind in the U.S. and has continued to assist military veterans in the transition from combat to civilian life and college.

Through a tightly knit on-campus learning community, the ROTC program has committed itself to fulfilling the SDSU motto “leadership starts here” by creating the leaders of tomorrow and model citizens for the city of San Diego.