Ever wonder what the daily life of a cadet consists of? The primary purpose of Army ROTC is to train men and women on campus the fundamentals of military leadership and to prepare them to become officers in the United States Army. Fundamentally, the U.S. Army is a unique institution that imposes distinctive demands and expectations on its people. The ROTC program at UW-Madison prepares Badger Battalion cadets for the unique challenges and expectations of Army life by duplicating, as closely as possible, a military environment. This means that your experience in ROTC will be very different from your prior college or high school experience. Also, as your time with ROTC progresses you will find that the ROTC program will begin to require more of your time and commitment. Here we have profiled cadets from each Military Science class in order for you to see what their daily lives and ROTC responsibilities consist of.
My name is Cadet Daley. I am a first year student UW Madison and a new member of the Badger Battalion. My dad served in the 82nd Airborne, and his stories coupled with my desire to attend college and also serve in the military influenced my decision to join ROTC.
I have learned a lot during my time so far, from the tactical aspects of the Army to the mental endurance needed to finish long ruck marches and difficult PT days.
Through ROTC I have had the opportunity to participate in a cadet Bible study, where I get to talk with cadets in a more relaxed conversational atmosphere. I am also in the process of training for the Northern Warfare Challenge and the Buddy Ranger Challenge.
Outside of ROTC, I spend a lot of time studying for my classes and exploring campus. I enjoy walking around State Street.
My advice for incoming freshmen is to spread out your ROTC extracurriculars. Every opportunity sounds enticing, from Ranger Challenge to Color Guard to Northern Warfare, but it pays to spread them out so the first year isn’t too overwhelming.
Major: Economics with a math emphasis and political science
MS Year II
Hi, I’m CDT Jahns. I’m from Hudson, WI and a graduate of Hudson Senior High School.
I wanted to join the military because I wanted to serve others and take an active role in that process. I enlisted in the Army National Guard and went to Fort Jackson for basic training over the summer. After getting back I was able to contract into ROTC as an SMP (Simultaneous Membership Program) cadet.
Taking an active role in my fraternity, bible study, badger SPILL, and volunteering with Best Buddies, the leadership and focus that ROTC has given me has made it easier to balance all of these and a college schedule. ROTC has given me the opportunity to compete in Buddy Ranger Challenge in the spring and Ranger Challenge in the fall. Currently the ROTC program has two great competitions coming up that I will be participating in: the Northern Warfare Competition and the Bataan Death March.
My biggest advice to freshmen is to prioritize things. If something matters, going out and making sure that you do it to the best of your ability is how you succeed in college.
Hi, I’m Sydney Mortenson from Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
I joined the military because I’ve always wanted to serve my country and follow in my dad’s footsteps. I enlisted in the Army National Guard in 2013 and attended basic combat training at Fort Jackson and 27D (Paralegal Specialist) training at Fort Lee. After being in the Guard for 4 years, I joined the Army ROTC program in the fall of 2017. I decided to join ROTC because I have always been a leader and I wanted to find a way that I could utilize my skills in the Army. ROTC has helped me develop my communication, public speaking, and tactics. I have learned about the operational and logistical sides of the Army, as well as many other aspects of leadership that I hadn’t been previously exposed to. ROTC provides financial stability in my life because of my scholarship and tuition reimbursement. I’ve taken advantage of many fun and challenging opportunities, such as the Norwegian Foot March and Combat Water Survival. The best part about ROTC is the camaraderie on campus. Cadets have a unique way of bonding through challenges and development.
On campus, I am involved in the UW-Vets club, the Political Science Student Association, the cadet bible study and intramural hockey and volleyball. I enjoy rollerblading, playing sports, shopping and Badger game days.
My advice to incoming freshmen is to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that ROTC will provide for you and to avoid procrastinating at all costs. Set goals and work hard to achieve them, in the classroom, in the gym, and anywhere else.
Hi, I’m CDT Leadens. I am a senior this year and am getting ready to commission as a 67J, an Aeromedical Evacuation Officer, in the Army National Guard this May.
ROTC has helped shape me into a leader and has helped me learn how to communicate effectively and take control when needed.
As an MSIV, I have been the Master Fitness Coordinator this fall and have helped plan the cadet workouts each week. Although it is a large commitment, it has been very rewarding to see the workouts performed to help cadets max their Army Physical Fitness Test.
This past summer, I attended Cadet Troop Leader Training at Fort Bragg and the year before I went to the Cultural Understanding of Leadership Program in Thailand. These programs taught me so much about other cultures and what it really takes to be an Army Officer. I had a blast in Thailand.
On campus, I am involved in intramural hockey and volunteer regularly with Badger Battalion. I work at the Hilton Doubletree and the Overture Center in Downtown Madison.
My advice for incoming freshmen is to try and take advantage of everything that ROTC offers. The summer programs (CULP and CTLT) were very beneficial and fun for me and I know that other cadets have said the same. Dive into ROTC headfirst. You won’t regret it!