ROTC Units at ASU

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On November 9, the top leaders of the Air Force, Army and Navy/Marines ROTC Units will visit Arizona State University to meet with ROTC commanders, cadets and midshipmen and ASU administrators. There will also be a panel discussion on how the military develops leaders. Army Colonel Robert Bennett, the Army ROTC Deputy Commanding Officer, Navy Captain Robert Fink, the Naval ROTC Deputy Commander, and Air Force ROTC Commander Colonel Sherry Stearns-Boles, will discuss the role of ROTC in our nation’s defense and the ASU event.

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING. WELCOME TO THE "ARIZONA HORIZON" VETERAN'S DAY SPECIAL. I'M TED SIMONS. WE LOOK AT ROTC PROGRAMS FROM OUR HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE CAMPUSES. EARLIER THIS WEEK THE NAVY MARINE ROTC UNITS MET WITH ASU ADMINISTRATORS, COMMANDERS, CADETS AND MIDSHIPMEN. THERE WAS A PANEL DISCUSSION ON DEVELOPING LEADERS. HERE TO TALK ABOUT ALL THAT AND MORE ARMY COLONEL ROBERT BENNETT THE ARMY ROTC DEPUTY COMMANDING OFFICER, NAVY CAPTAIN ROBERT FINK NAVAL ROTC DEPUTY COMMANDER AND AIR FORCE ROTC COMMANDER COLONEL SHERI STERN-BOLES, GOOD TO HAVE YOU ALL HERE. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: WHAT IS ROTC?

ROBERT BENNETT: FOR THE ARMY RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING CORPS WHERE WE HAVE STUDENTS WHO WISH AND DESIRE TO BECOME A COMMISSION OFFICER THE UNITED STATES ARMY. WE JUST CELEBRATED 100 YEARS OF ROTC IN THE US ARMY. WE OFFER A CURRICULUM FRESHMAN TO SENIOR YEAR. IT'S MILITARY SCIENCE. IT'S A LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM RANGING FROM DRILL AND CEREMONY TO SMALL UNIT PATROLLING TACTICS TO TYPES OF LEADERSHIP, CRITICAL THINKERS, ADAPTIVE, AGILE, FLEXIBLE AND OPERATING IN A COMPLEX WORLD AND ENVIRONMENT TODAY.

TED SIMONS: THAT'S ARMY ROTC. NAVY ROTC. DOES IT DIFFER?

ROBERT FINK: IT'S THE SAME TYPE OF THING BUT WE HAVE DIFFERENT APPLICATIONS. WE PREPARE INDIVIDUALS FOR AT SEA SERVICE FOR NAVY. MARINE CORP. WOULD HAVE ROUND OPERATIONS. WE HAVE THE SAME FOUR YEAR PROGRAM DEVELOPING INDIVIDUALS TO EARN COMMISSIONS IN THE NAVY OR MARINE CORPS. WE TEACH THEM MILITARY SCIENCE ALONG THE WAY, GIVE THEM LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND HAVE THE SAME CONCEPT AS THE OTHER SERVICES.

TED SIMONS: AND HOW ABOUT THE AIR FORCE?

SHERRY STEARNS- BOLES: WE HAVE THE BASIC PREMISE AS THE OTHER TWO BUT WE COMMISSION THROUGH OUR PROGRAM A LITTLE BUT DIFFERENT THAN THE OTHER SERVICES. WE COMMISSION MOSTLY LINE ACTIVE DUTY OFFICERS, GOING ON ACTIVE DUTY OPPOSED TO RESERVE OR GUARD COMMISSIONS. LINE OFFICERS, THE PILOT, SPACE OPERATORS, MISSILE OPERATORS, FINANCE FOLKS, PERSONNEL, ETC. OUR MEDICAL CORE IS DONE BY OFFICER TRAINING SCHOOL WHICH IS NOT UNDER OUR COMMAND. THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US AND OTHER SERVICES.

TED SIMONS: DOES IT WORK OUT TO BE A MILITARY COMMITMENT IN EXCHANGE FOR A PAID COLLEGE CAREER? IS THAT HOW IT WORKS?

SHERRY STEARNS- BOLES: IT IS. THERE IS A POINT STUDENTS CAN COME INTO THE PROGRAM, I BELIEVE THE OTHERS ARE THE SAME. OUR BASIC PREMIS IS CALLED A SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM STUDENT. THEY COME IN WITH STANDARDS AND ARE GIVEN A FULL RIDE SCHOLARSHIP WHERE WE HAVE A CROSS TOWN ARRANGEMENT. THEY CAN ENTER AFTER THE FRESHMAN YEAR, THREE YEAR POINT OR TWO YEAR POINT. WE HAVE A RESURRECTED A ONE YEAR PROGRAM. THEY COME INTO THE PROGRAM, CONSOLIDATE FOUR YEARS OF ACADEMICS AND FIELD TRAINING INTO ONE YEAR TRYING TO GROW THE FORCE WHERE WE ARE AT RIGHT NOW.

TED SIMONS: YOU MENTIONED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND THINGS LEARNED. DOES THIS MIX WITH ENGLISH AND SOCIAL STUDIES, NON-ROTC COLLEGE STUDENTS WOULD LEARN? HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE CLASSES?

ROBERT BENNETT: THAT'S WHAT'S DIFFICULT TODAY TRYING TO GET A DEGREE. ON AVERAGE, IT'S 4.5 YEARS, THAT'S HOW LONG IT TAKE. THAT'S CHALLENGING. IN MILITARY SCIENCE, ONE, TWO, THREE AND FOUR, PHYSICAL TRAINING THREE DAYS A WEEK IN THE MORNING. YOU HAVE ONE CLASS ON A WEDNESDAY. THEN YOU HAVE A LAB, ONE LAB. THE TOUCH POINTS THE PROFESSORS OF MILITARY SCIENCE HAVE WITH THE CADETS ARE 3.5 TO 4 DAYS A WEEK. WE KNOW THEM WELL AND GEAR THEM TO BE A SECOND LIEUTENANT IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY.

TED SIMONS: I BET YOU DO. AS FAR AS CHARACTER BUILDING SKILLS AND PATHS TO LEADERSHIP, HOW DOES THAT WORK? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE FROM SOMEONE WHO STARTS FRESH AND FROM THE SAME PERSON ONCE THEY ARE READY TO GO?

ROBERT FINK: WE LIKE TO SEE THAT THEY DEVELOP ALONG THE WAY. MOST STUDENTS GET SEVERAL OPPORTUNITIES, ONCE A YEAR THEY MOVE ON. THEY ARE A SQUAD LEADER ONE YEAR AND MOVE ON THROUGHOUT THEN. WE WANT TO SEE THE GROWTH. WE HAVE STAFF MEMBERS THAT GUIDE THEM AND TO BE MENTORS ALONG THE WAY. WE ARE LOOKING FOR GROWTH AT INCREASED SCOPE AND RESPONSIBILITY. DO WE SEE THE INCREASED PERFORMANCE.

TED SIMONS: I IMAGINE SELF DISCIPLINE, LEADERSHIP, ARE THEY QUANTIFIABLE OR YOU KNOW IT WHEN YOU SEE IT?

ROBERT FINK: IT'S DIFFICULT TO QUANTIFY. YOU KNOW IT WHEN YOU SEE IT IN AN INDIVIDUAL THAT THEY GOT TO THAT POINT. SOME TAKE LONGER THAN OTHERS AND SOME NEED INTERVENTION FRO OTHER STAFF AND OTHER STUDENTS ALONG THE WAY.

TED SIMONS: TALK ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TRAINING AS FAR AS AIR FORCE ROTC IS CONCERNED?

SHERRY STEARNS- BOLES: SOME OF THE THINGS THE COMMANDER MENTIONED WE DO. ONE THING THAT HASN'T BEEN HIT UPON IS PEER LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT. WE ALL HAVE PROGRAMS WHERE WE HAVE WHAT WE CALL A JUNIOR CLASS, FRESHMAN AND SOPHOMORES AND THEY GO THROUGH FIELD EXPERIENCE, A TITLE TEN REQUIREMENT AND THEN THEY TRANSITION IN WHAT WE CALL A SENIOR CLASS WHICH IS GENERALLY THE JUNIORS AND SENIORS. WE LIKE TO SEE WHEN THEY ARE FIRST ENTERING THE PROGRAM, THEY ARE IN A FOLLOWING ROLE. THEY ARE NOT ONLY LED BY OUR CADRE BUT ALSO BY THOSE JUNIOR AND SENIOR CADETS THAT MENTOR AND TRAIN. THAT'S A BIG ASPECT OF OUR TRAINING PROGRAM THAT IS OFTEN NOT KNOWN BUT WE NEED TO EMPHASIZE.

TED SIMONS: I BET IT'S A BIG FACTOR.

SHERRY STEARNS- BOLES: IT IS.
TED SIMONS: AS FAR AS REQUIREMENTS YOUNG PEOPLE WATCHING SAYING, I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THIS. I MIGHT BE INTERESTED. WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO HAVE TO GET INTO ROTC?

ROBERT BENNETT: PHYSICAL STANDARDS HAVE A PLAY, WHAT YOU MAKE ON YOUR GPA IN HIGH SCHOOL, SAT, ACT, WHAT TESTS YOU TAKE, AND COMING IN, AT LEAST FOR THE ARMY, TALKING TO US AND GETTING A FEEL FOR THE TYPE OF PERSON YOU ARE. WE ARE LOOKING AT A PERSON WHO VOLUNTEERS, INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY, PLAYS SPORTS, THE ALL AROUND LEADER.

TED SIMONS: ARE THE PEOPLE GETTING EASIER OR MORE DIFFICULT TO FIND?

ROBERT BENNETT: YES. IT IS EASY. IT IS HARD. I TELL YOU, WE OFFER $274 MILLION IN SCHOLARSHIPS, AND THAT IS VERY, VERY APPEASABLE TO STUDENTS THAT WANT TO BE ROTC CADETS. THEY ARE VERY INTERESTED. I WOULD SAY YES, WE ARE LOOKING AND NEEDING THEM. THEY COME AND FIND US AS WELL.

ROBERT FINK: WE HAVE ALSO BESIDES PEOPLE ON SCHOLARSHIP, WE HAVE PEOPLE VOLUNTEERING TO BE PART OF THE PROGRAM. ANY COLLEGE STUDENT, FRESHMAN OR SOPHOMORE CAN COME AND JOIN THE UNIT, THEY WEAR THE UNIFORM LIKE EVERYONE ELSE BUT THEY ARE NOT ON SCHOLARSHIPS BUT THEY HAVE THE REQUIREMENTS A PERSON ON SCHOLARSHIP WOULD, BUT THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMPETE FOR A THREE YEAR SCHOLARSHIP OR TWO YEAR SCHOLARSHIP LATER ON. THERE IS OPPORTUNITY EVEN IF THEY DON'T APPLY FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP. WE HAVE OUR OWN WEBSITES. YOU CAN GOOGLE ROTC SCHOLARSHIPS. THOSE WHO ARENT SELECTED HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE, CHECK IT OUT, SEE IF THEY LIKE IT AND COMPETE FOR A SCHOLARSHIP DOWN THE ROAD.

TED SIMONS: OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, IS IT MORE DIFFICULT TO FIND IN THIS DAY AND AGE OR YOU HAVE TO KEEP THEM AWAY?

ROBERT FINK: WE ARE NOT SEEING THE SAME THING. WE SEE A HIGH CALIBER OF INDIVIDUAL. WE HAVE 4 TO 5,000 PEOPLE APPLY WHEN WE AWARD ABOUT 1400 SCHOLARSHIPS. THE PEOPLE WE LEAVE BEHIND ARE HIGH QUALITY. IT'S RELATIVELY EASY FOR US.

TED SIMONS: IF YOU ARE SAYING THE SAME THING HAS IT ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY, DIFFICULT OR EASY WHATEVER THE CASE MAY BE?

SHERRY STEARNS- BOLES: I DON'T KNOW THAT I CAN ANSWER THE QUESTION EASILY. RIGHT NOW IN THIS ENVIRONMENT THE SCHOLARSHIP MONEY IS A DRAW. IN AIR FORCE ROTC, WE TRY TO HAVE 75% OF FOLKS ON SCHOLARSHIP. 25% ARE NOT ON SCHOLARSHIP. WHEN YOU ASK WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR, WE WANT SOMEONE THAT WANTS TO SERVE. THE QUALITY IS THERE. THE QUALITY IS THERE. WE WANT PEOPLE THAT WANT TO SERVE. THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF THOSE FOLKS AND WE ARE GLAD TO SEE BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT WE WANT IN THE MILITARY FOLKS THAT WANT TO SERVE.

TED SIMONS: INDEED. THAT'S WHAT I WONDERED IF YOU SEE MORE OR FEWER OF THOSE FOLKS?

SHERRY STEARNS- BOLES: WE HAVE NO SHORTAGE. I DON'T KNOW THAT WE WERE AT A POINT WE DIDN'T SEE THEM. MAYBE BEFORE MY TIME? THERE WERE FOLKS WILLING TO COME IN AT THAT TIME AS WELL. I THINK WE'LL SEE MORE THAN LESS BECAUSE OF THE ENVIRONMENT WE ARE IN.

TED SIMONS: I WANT TO GO AROUND THE ROLE OF THE ROTC IN OUR NATION'S DEFENSE. TALK ABOUT THAT BRIEFLY, IF YOU WOULD.

ROBERT BENNETT: WE PRODUCE 5,000 SECOND LIEUTENANTS A YEAR, MORE THAN WEST POINT PRODUCES. WE PRODUCE 70% OF SECOND LIEUTENANT IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY. THAT'S KEY THAT FILL A TOTAL OF 20 BRANCHES IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY. THEY ATTEND SCHOOL AND AFTERWARDS ARE OUT IN MILITARY FORMATIONS. BASED ON WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE WORLD, THEY ARE OUT IN SOME OF THESE BAD PLACES DOING GREAT THINGS. THEY ARE TRAINED. WE ARE BUILDING THE FUTURE UNITED STATES ARMY. WE ARE VERY PROUD.

TED SIMONS: WHAT ARE YOU SEEING?

ROBERT FINK: AS FAR AS OUR NUMBERS, WE ARE ABOUT THE SAME AS THE NAVAL ACADEMY, 30% AND 40% FROM CANDIDATE SCHOOL. THEY ARE FILLING THE SAME ROLE, OFFICERS IN THE NAVY. WHAT'S INTERESTING IN OUR SERVICE, PEOPLE IN THE ROTC TEND TO STAY IN PAST THEIR COMMITMENT. THEY OWE FIVE YEARS FOR THEIR FOUR YEAR SCHOLARSHIP AND WE SEE AN INCREASING NUMBER STAYING LONGER IN THE NAVY.

SHERRY STEARNS- BOLES: OUR ROLE IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL ON THE AIRFORCE SIDE IN TERMS OF PROVIDING DEFENSE, WE ARE THE PRIMARY PRODUCER OF ACTIVE DUTY IN THE AIR FORCE. WE ALSO ARE ON TAP FOR THE COMMISSION OF THE RESERVE AND GUARD THE TOTAL FORCE STRUCTURE. WE ARE CRITICAL TO THE NATION'S DEFENSE.

TED SIMONS: GOOGLE ROTC AND YOU WILL GET WHEREVER YOU NEED TO GO FOR EACH BRANCH. THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE.

NEXT WE LOOK AT A COURT THAT FOCUSES ON VETERANS. THE MARICOPA COUNTY COURT SYSTEM INCLUDES OVER A DOZEN COURTS FOR THE HOMELESS OR CRIMES LIKE DUI'S. EVERY COURT IS DIFFERENT AND HAS THEIR OWN SET OF RULES AND DIFFERENT PROCUDURES. PRODUCER ALISA ADAMS AND PHOTOGRAPHER ROB MCJANET TAKES A LOOK AT A SPECIALTY COURT THAT FOCUSES ON VETERANS.

Army Colonel Robert Bennett, the Army ROTC Deputy Commanding Officer; Navy Captain Robert Fink, the Naval ROTC Deputy Commander; Colonel Sherry Stearns-Boles, Air Force ROTC Commander

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