Football and ROTC go hand in hand for three Captains

By Cassandra Vinch, Sports Editor
Published On February 10, 2010 in Volume 41, Issue 15
Intense workouts, early hours, and an immense amount of dedication are standard requirements to be a part of the CNU Captains football team and doubly so when youre also a member of the schools Army Reserve Officers Training Corps or Army ROTC.

Three CNU students have managed to simultaneously handle both activities in commendable fashion, despite the heavy time commitment that both call for.

I love football, and since I since I cannot continue it as a career, the military is the next best thing, said Junior Matthew Johnson. The competitive atmosphere, the camaraderie, and the physical aspect of both keep me coming back.

Johnson, who plans on serving in the Marine Corps after he graduates, is taking Army ROTC as an elective because the school does not offer a Naval ROTC program.

He is currently an Officer Candidate for the Marine Corps, causing him to be accepted into CNUs Army ROTC program.

The Marine Corps runs their ROTC program through the Navy, which is why Johnson is taking Army ROTC as an elective, because of the lack of a Navy ROTC program.

Second Lt. Laurain Hackett is the Gold Bar Recruiting and Retention Officer for CNUs ROTC program said Army ROTC offers two-, three- and four-year scholarships.

Based on your scholarship, you typically owe back four years active duty, or six years in the Army Reserves, she said.

But with that scholarship, they pay for all of your tuition, they give you book money, and you also get a cadet monthly stipend. When I was doing (Army ROTC), it was $200 a month (for freshmen), but when I graduated it was $500 a month for seniors.

This is Hacketts first year working with the Army ROTC program at CNU, after graduating from Old Dominion University.

The program involves carrying a minor in military science and leadership.

The class itself is actually an elective. The classroom setting is once a week, as is a lab-type setting in which the cadets perform tactical squad drills.

There are also three mandatory physical training, or PT, sessions required during the week, and if a cadet cannot attend one of them, there are make-up sessions.

Hackett said, We share the facilities with (the football team), so we sometimes have to arrange timing, as far as when we come off (the field) and they go on. Like in the morning, we have PT from 6 a.m. till 7 a.m. and they have the field till 6:30 a.m., so we will share half the field with them.

Freshmen Christian Woelfel-Monsivais and Cameron Bertrand, are the CNU football teams two other ROTC cadets

Woelfel-Monsivais, one of CNUs quarterbacks, said the football and ROTC programs work fine together.

They are both very flexible with each other because both football and ROTC want me to succeed with whatever I plan to do, he said.

Playing football at the collegiate level was a high school dream of Bertands, who plays tight end and says he is living out my dream.

ROTC was not something that he was always set on, but there is some family tradition at work in his case.

I am a military child, and after growing up and seeing how my father has been able to provide for my family the way that he has, I would love to be able to do the same, Bertrand said. Its something that I feel will help me in the future.

Football is a huge time commitment, and being able to juggle that and ROTC is not easy.

But these three young men who may be defending our country on the front lines one day relish the challenge.