By Cadet Scott Rupp
“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” - 1st Lt Vanderhoof
This is the overpowering message that cadets learn at Field Training. This training acts as one of many hurdles on the path to officership but often is the most daunting. For many cadets, it is the hardest 28 days they have ever experienced; facing high pressure, home sickness, and physical demands that are simply absent in everyday life. Cadets spend two years trying to prepare themselves and countless hours outside ROTC studying and practicing to be the best to enter the Professional Officer Course. Current POC dedicate years on the other side of that wall trying to prepare cadets for the rigors they are about to under-go. A potentially misconstrued idea is that Field Training is meant to train cadets to be officers. This is not true. Field Training’s purpose is to prepare GMC for POC responsibilities which will lead to officership. No one is commissionable out of Field Training. Many cadets view Field Training as an end when in reality, that could not be farther from the truth. Field Training is just another beginning on a long string of events in life. The end is not commissioning, the end is not the promotion to a Cadet 1st Lieutenant or Cadet Captain, and the “end” never comes. All that cadets train for is the next step with the hope and understanding that everyone maintains their passion. Graduating from Field Training is one of the most outstanding things ROTC cadets can feel. The sense of accomplishment and camaraderie that accompanies such a large undertaking is simply outstanding. The key is to never lose motivation, never think you can go it alone, and never give up. This is the world’s best Air Force for a reason and it’s only getting better.