FORT KNOX, KY. – During the first two years of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) 2nd Regiment Cadets have the opportunity to explore the different branches of the Army at Branch Orientation.
Rodney McClinton, Logistics Technician at Northern Arizona University, helps to oversee Branch Orientation.
“Here at Branch Orientation, the Cadets get to learn about the Active Army, National Guard and Army Reserve,” McClinton said.
Some of the branches on site included Quartermaster, Aviation, Judge Advocate General, and Logistics.
“The first and second year Cadets get to come here, and they still have a couple of years before they make their final decision on their branch. Obviously some of the decision is based on how well they do in school,” McClinton explained, “They cannot go to all of the branches here, but they can choose three they are interested in and explore those.”
Cdt. McKay Dula, Presbyterian College, Charlotte N.C., found a branch he was interested in while at the orientation.
“I’m particularly interested in Judge Advocacy General (JAG), being a military lawyer. I’d like to be prosecuting and defending, upholding Army standards, and making sure everyone is following the same justice system,” Dula said.
Cdt. Damien Smith, South Carolina State University, Hopkins S.C., feels confident that he can make the right decision for his future.
“I feel really excited, I got a lot of questions answered about the National Guard, and I feel very confident about my decisions I’m going to make about my career,” Smith continued, “I want to branch into the Engineering Corps.”
Smith would advise that future Cadets attending the orientation prepare themselves in advance.
“I would tell anyone to do as much research as you can, ask questions, write down questions before you come to the event, and just be attentive to all the information that you receive and take notes.” Smith said.
McClinton believes that Cadets should think ahead to the future before selecting the right branch for themselves.
“The best thing a Cadet can do when they are trying to make up their mind is to ask themselves a few questions first,” McClinton said, “Am I going to be in the military for twenty years and make it a career? If you want to do that, then by all means go into a branch that truly inspires you. Am I going to be in the Army for only six years or so and get out? Then you may want to go into a branch that will be useful to you when you get out. You have to think about what you really want to do.”