ROTC programs train the next generation of Army officers

BOWLING GREEN Ky.-Through America’s history, the United States Army has always fought to defend the nation. Thanks to the College Reserve Officers Training Corps programs, new leaders are trained every day.

The Western Kentucky University ROTC program has the same goal as the rest. To train up the next generation of army officers.

Those who are training these young leaders like WKU professor of military science Lt. Col. Morgan Greene said it’s an amazing experience to watch the young leaders grow, especially when remembering tragedies like Sept. 11.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to give back. Sept. 11, 2001 was my senior year of college, and a lot of my cadets were three or four years old. It’s really humbling to watch them try to strive to serve their country and understanding that the best America has to offer is still selfless service,” Greene said.

The story of how each cadet found their way in the uniform is different, but they all do so because they want to give back to a country that has given so much to them.

“My whole family is military. My dad was a master sergeant. Papaw served in Vietnam, two uncles served in the Air Force, so I come from a military family. It inspired me to serve and give back to a country that has given us so much,” said WKU cadet Tyler Jackson.

“I think about the sacrifices of the people who came before me. Especially on a day like Patriot Day, one of my first memories was 9/11. It really hits close to home. I remember watching it on the news with my mother at the time,” said WKU cadet John Kello.

Through the hot sun and the bitter cold, the cadets carry a lot of weight. It’s the sense of service to the country that drives them to put it on and train. It’s that same service to country that led them to volunteer to serve in the military.

“People die in the uniform. They go to Afghanistan, it’s in the same uniform that we put on every day,” said WKU cadet Paige Updike.

As the cadets continue to raise the bar for themselves, they are doing so as one army.

“When I have that on to honor what the uniform stands for is what drives us all ultimately. Being a leader and leading others is exactly what we’re here to do,” Updike said.