Despite challenges, ROTC cadets committed - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Despite challenges, ROTC cadets committed

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---Knowing all they do about the sacrifices required of American soldiers, thousands of college students continue to sign up for the Army's ROTC program.  The man in charge is based at Fort Knox and told us how the Army is trying to shape the leaders of tomorrow with today's problems in mind.

"I think anyone in a leadership position would say this is a thriving time to be a leader and its an environment that leaders love to operate in," says Maj. Gen. Jefforey Smith, U.S. Army Cadet Command.

Maj. Gen. Smith says, despite a dwindling defense budget, the army suicide rate at a record high and the ongoing war in Afghanistan, recruiting is going just fine.

"Although we are facing financial difficulties in the country today and certainly the Army will suffer somewhat from those difficulties what we're not going to sacrifice is the quality and standards that we train our leaders to be able to lead America's sons and daughters," he says.

Andrea Shaw is a 19 year old Sophomore.  While many of her fellow cadets get scholarship money for ROTC, she does not.  She says she's ready for deployment.

"I know the deployment sucks and it's scary but it's an experience that I really want to have," says Shaw.

Cadet, Brendan Sandman, has deployed twice before as an enlisted soldier but feels a calling to become an officer.

"I want that responsibility I want to be able to help shape the future of our force and continue to serve my country," he says.

All the cadets say they have no disillusions about what's going on in the military from PTSD to the numerous deployments required of them.

"Every job is going to have its risk it's about finding what you're passionate about and what's worth those risks," says Shaw.

"Even though there are challenges and difficulties I feel like I can make a difference and we can try to overcome a lot of that stuff," says Sandman.

"I can't think of a more important job to have or one that I would value more importantly than this one than to be responsible for putting the best leaders that we can in the army to lead our nation as we move forward…The leaders are out there and you've got a great Army and you ought to be very proud of it," says Maj. Gen. Smith.

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