Senior Corps of Cadets make history
By: Michaela Dennis
The Corps of Cadets class of 2022 are in their final semester at Tarleton State University. Their group is the most decorated class the Corps of Cadets has had since 1917.
With ten Army contracted cadets, one Air Force cadet and two Texan Leaders, the military organization is proud of its students.
At Advance Camp, Army Reserve Officer Training Course (ROTC), cadets are tested on military knowledge they have learned from freshman to junior year.
At the end of camp, cadets are ranked against other students across the nation, such as the United States Military Academy. All Tarleton Army ROTC cadets ranked top 50% of their peers, seven ranked top 25% and one ranked top 15%.
Now the accomplished seniors are focused on their lives after college.
Cadet Joshua Ferguson, a senior criminal justice major, is the first member of the Air Force ROTC to commission from Tarleton. Ferguson joined the Corps of Cadets to follow in his family’s footsteps of becoming a member of the Air Force.
As a member of Air Force ROTC, cadets transport on Tuesdays and Thursdays to Texas Christian University (TCU). At TCU, they attend Air Force leadership classes, lab training and physical training. This could take up to eight hours a day including talking to cadres, learning through lectures, physical training, practicing drills and ceremonies.
Along with being a member of the corps at TCU, Ferguson participated in the Corps of Cadets at Tarleton. This added time for physical training, ceremonies and bonding.
Ferguson describes this heavy workload as a benefit because the strenuous schedule made him stand out more than his peers at TCU.
“It is a blessing,” Ferguson said. “It doesn’t seem real. It is humbling, and it feels amazing at the same time. It makes me feel like I am that guy and that I did this.”
After college Ferguson will go to pilot school at the Columbus, Mississippi, Air Force Base.
Senior Ethan Jones is a criminal justice major, a residential leader and a member of Texan Leadership.
The Texan Leadership program is an addition of the Corps of Cadets where cadets choose to not contract within the armed forces but continue in the program to gain military intelligence and experience in hopes to improve their resume.
Being a member of the corps has brought Jones intense respect for soldiers who serve their nation. He encourages future cadets to stay motivated throughout the program to reach their end goal.
“Continue to hold your head up high,” Jones said. “There will be days you don’t want to get up, and it is easy to not do the work. These four years fly by, so take every opportunity and never try to be at a minimum effort.”
Jones is undecided on his future; however, he is going to serve his country in any possible way.
Garret Wood is a senior, political science major, member of Ranger Challenge and member of Army ROTC.
Wood joined the Corps of Cadets because has been drawn to military service since high school, and he wanted new opportunities.
His motivation in the program throughout the years has been the school activities, the relationships, the character development for leaders and what he describes as the base of military service or business.
“I think the program definitely provides students to be better in the program but only if they put in the effort,” Wood said. “Your ability to work and lead your peers shows through the different challenges you have at advanced camp. From signing out different government equipment, to land navigation, or shooting on range day.”
After graduation, he is assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, where he will study as an Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Corps.
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