When I started the interviews, I thought about how I could bring a unique twist to the Connecting & Protecting website and project. That’s when I decided that conducting interviews with the “future” of the US Military would be just what could add an even more interesting, unique twist to this project. This interview was done with Joseph Dembowski (MS2 Cadet) who is in the Army R.O.T.C program.
Joseph Dembowski, MS2 Cadet
U.S Army R.O.T.C
Mr. Joseph Dembowski is attending University of Nebraska – Lincoln and is currently studying Finance and enrolled in the Army R.O.T.C program. He is a sophomore which makes him rank of MS2 (Military Science level 2) Cadet in the R.O.T.C.
Why did you choose the Army?
My grandfather served in this branch and I also like the Army’s primary mission, being sustained ground combat.
Have you attended the mandatory training camp? If so, what was it like? If not, do you feel ready for it?
This past summer I attended “Cadet Initial Entry Training” (CIET) at Fort Knox, Kentucky. It wasn’t mandatory, but I decided to volunteer for it. It was good training that reinforced a lot of the basic skills I learned on campus earlier that year.
Between my junior and senior year, I will be required to attend “Cadet Leadership Course” (CLC) back at Fort Knox where my leadership abilities will be evaluated. Besides the “lovely” Kentucky weather, I feel prepared to meet that challenge when it comes.
How is your experience with the R.O.T.C so far?
I am enjoying my time in the R.O.T.C and the challenge it brings. Though, we do get our fair share of bureaucracy, but it prepares us for how it will be once we commission.
What specific career are you planning on doing in the military after you graduate?
I would like to be in the branch of Armor or Military Police.
Why did you choose the R.O.T.C. instead of Enlisting or enrolling at West Point?
West Point simplified my decision whether or not I would attend during the initial evaluation, though I am glad that I ended up at UNL. I chose not to enlist because I knew I wanted to get the college education before going into the Army.
How often do you train in the R.O.T.C at UNL?
We do Physical Training (PT) on the mornings of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. However, if you participate in the “Ranger Challenge” you basically are doing PT every day. We also take a Military Science course each semester and have a Military Science lab on Thursday.
What do you like most about the R.O.T.C?
I like the structure and camaraderie within the program.
What advice do you have for someone considering the R.O.T.C?
Go into it with the right reasons. Do not go in if you just want the financial assistance, because you will have an eight year commitment afterwards. You do not want to “sink” some of the best years of your life in a job that you don’t enjoy.
At the end of the interview I asked the two following questions to get his opinion on the issue Connecting & Protecting is addressing.
Do you feel like there is a disconnection between the military and the general public?
I think there is a huge disconnect between protectors (military, police, etc.) and the public. The U.S. is so safe compared to other countries that people have grown to think that there is no evil in this world. When, in reality, evil is always at the door and it is up to the protectors to hold it off. The protectors have done such a good job in the past that people are starting to think that their jobs are unnecessary when it is the complete opposite.
Do you have an idea of how this disconnection could be fixed?
This disconnect is part of this “bubble” society lives in. Sadly, people will only understand the reality of this world when that “bubble” bursts, but you can bet those protectors will be there the day it does.