By: Katie McGuire, Photos by William Kolb
Cadets from Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) 8th Regiment completed the last part of their training this afternoon, Monday August 10th, as they attended Branch Orientation, a series of presentations designed to inform the cadets about various army careers.
During this event, cadets are exposed to the many different branches and components of the Army and are able to speak one-on-one with professionals brought in from around the country.
In total, cadets had the opportunity explore 21 different tents with information on each branch or component such as the Engineering Corps, Field Corps, Infantry, Military Intelligence, National Guard, U.S. Army Reserves, and many more. Each cadet was given the option to attend five 35-minute presentations. Each one closed with a question and answer session for the cadets to learn more from the professionals.
Branch Orientation is an important part of CST because it gives these CIET cadets, who range from freshmen to sophomores (MSII-MSIIIs) in college, an opportunity to see what sort of career options are available in the Army.
According to Bill Fox, senior advisor and one of the two branch orientation coordinators, branch orientation is important to their training because it helps them decide what branch they would like to pursue a career in.
“It’s a part of their educational process. It allows them to learn more about the branches and components,” he said. He further explained that it allows the cadets to make a future informed decision after hearing the information from the subject matter experts from around the country.
For Cadet Clare Wardle, from California State University-Fresno, branch orientation was a very informative and enlightening experience. Wardle said she was initially interested in the Medical Service Corps, but has gained a rekindled interest in the Engineer Corps after learning more about it.
Wardle said she has always been interested in the career field, but didn’t know women could be in this branch. “Women have the opportunity to be a combat engineer – knowing we can join makes me more interested in this branch,” she said.
This year, there will be around 1,500 recently commissioned officers who will be competing for their chosen branch or component. After the initial commissioning process, the new officer is assessed back at their original ROTC program. By September of that year, they will know their component, and in November, they will be placed in a branch based on a number of different factors and testing.