Cadets fall in for Zero Week
Before most students had a chance to move in, the newest Radford University Army ROTC cadets were hard at work learning the program's ropes in "Zero Week."
Zero Week offers new ROTC students a good look at the typical week in the program. In addition to living and attending class at RU, ROTC students study military science, participate in military drills and field exercises and maintain an excellent physical training standard. If a student can succeed during Zero Week, they will likely find success in the program.
On Wednesday, Aug. 20, cadets participated in one of their first physical training tests, the centerpiece of which was a two-mile run through Radford.
Luke Austin of Leesburg was up for the challenge.
"So far the program and the senior cadets treated me like how they would in the Army," Austin said. "It was tough, but that's why I'm here. I want to go into the service after school so I was looking forward to that."
ROTC at RU is an elective program for undergraduate students that provides leadership training and a glimpse into the life of an Army officer. Along with a traditional course of study, students take one class each semester that counts toward a minor in Military Science, with classes taught by Army officers.
For the first two years of the program, students can take ROTC courses without a commitment to military service. Upon continuation after those two years, students contract with the Army. Third and fourth year cadets receive a stipend, and there are specific scholarships available for ROTC cadets.
Paige Edwards, of Hampton, has already served as an enlisted soldier, but he decided to join ROTC when he came to Radford as a student to keep his options open.
"I have family that has served and this could help me if I want to become an officer," the athletic training major said. "And I can do it at Radford. I love it. It's beautiful out here."