So today, when I was out giving tours one of our potential students expressed a concern that they were not entirely comfortable with living on a campus that had a large military affiliation. When I looked more into the topic after our discussion of the campus’s military affiliation, I discovered that some people who are interested in attending Embry Riddle think that is a Military Academy.
I would like to dispel that thought as much as possible, Embry Riddle does have military ties as a result of the two ROTC detachments on campus and also because many veterans choose to attend school here. However, we are very very very far from being any sort of a military academy, even though we do have a military affiliation we do not try to force students to join any ROTC or other type of military service. Our ROTC cadets and veterans live among the other students, we are college students as well and we are happy to get to know you, no matter what your chosen pursuit is.
You will not feel any pressure or discrimination from anyone on campus, we are a diverse campus and we are always ready to accept new students and get to know them, their dreams, pursuits, and their personalities. 😀 Some of our students come from places all over the world, such as China, the Middle East, and Europe. We know that everyone has a different background and different goals for their lives because of their previous experiences. It is our goal as a campus to promote a feeling of community among our students so that no one will ever feel like they do not belong at Embry Riddle.
When considering colleges to attend please think of Embry Riddle firstly as another college, look into the various majors we offer and if one interests you please apply, we would love to welcome you to the Embry Riddle family. And again, it is true there is a military presence on this campus but, the cadets and veterans are only your fellow students, we do not want to pressure you or make you feel uncomfortable should you consider attending Embry Riddle. We will welcome you just like any other student and we look forward to potentially meeting you in the future!!
As we all know, Veteran’s Day was this past weekend, so in light of my participation in Embry-Riddle’s activities to support our veterans I would like to tell you about how Embry-Riddle honors our veterans every year. As a little side note, there are a few hundred veterans on campus as well as a few hundred Air Force and Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets. The campus is very military friendly.
The experience was extremely rewarding and the activities that I was a part of this past weekend will be the most notable memories of my freshman year. I am a member of the Detachment 028 Air Force ROTC Honor Guard Team, which is basically the military group that presents the colors before football games and at other various types of ceremonies. Each year the Honor Guard Team and the other teams in the Detachment 028 Honor Corps go to the Prescott Veteran’s Memorial Hospital and conduct a 24 hour vigil around the flag. This year’s vigil was my first time performing as an active member of the Honor Guard. Just being able to stand at attention and endure a mostly sleepless night for the sake of vigil was an incredible experience. It really made me think about why I had chosen to become a member of the team and why I had put in so many long hours at practice when other cadets hadn’t.
The reason is this: millions of people died to protect our freedoms, an almost equal amount have endured incredible hardships as prisoners of war, and countless others have been labeled as missing in action. These brave young men and women never got to say a final goodbye to their families, never got to see their homes again, and because of their sacrifice they must never be forgotten.
This is so important to me as a freshman in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps because I know that I will be the next in line to take up the defense of this country. Being a participant in Vigil really changed my viewpoint. I appreciated veterans before but when I stood guarding the flag as a symbolic representation of those who took up arms in its defense, I truly came to understand the magnitude of the hardships my predecessors had undergone.
Honor Corps Vigil 2012
I can honestly say that if I had not decided to come to Embry-Riddle I would not have had the opportunity to stand vigil and I would not have grown from the experience like I did that weekend. This freshman year has been an amazing growing process and my Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps commitments have truly helped me mature. I have made a ton of great friends along the way and become a part of the family that I call the Honor Guard. When I need help with school work they are there, and if I’m having a bad day they are there too. I have found a home away from home at Embry-Riddle and I hope that you will too!
Sophomore year here at Embry Riddle has been going great so far. This year has been quite the journey, and distinctly different from last year. Let me tell you why being a sophomore is different from my previous years of education, and give you a few specific examples from the past week.
As a sophomore in the aerospace engineering program, I am going through what is colloquially known as “the gauntlet.” Every single aerospace engineer and electrical engineer here at Riddle is quite familiar with “the gauntlet”. It is called this because right now, I am taking courses such as Fluid Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, and Differential equations and Matrix Methods. These have been the most challenging engineering courses I have ever taken, but they are incredibly rewarding. After years of somewhat aimless studying in high school, it feels so refreshing to learn about material that I’m interested in. This same material that my professors are covering is material that is heavily used in aerospace engineering jobs today. Speaking of my professors, I’d like to say that they are an amazing group of teachers. For example, Dr. Hayashibara, my fluid mechanics professor, drives us to not just become another engineer crunching numbers, but someone who thinks for themselves and is able to grasp the big picture. As a highly driven person, I love this type of attitude and style of teaching, as it creates future leaders in the aerospace industry, rather than just an office worker. This is why being a sophomore is such a wonderful experience; we are finally learning how to affect and direct the industry that so many people here are passionate about.
Classes are not the only thing going on in my life too. This past weekend I stood guard for twenty four hours straight at the Veterans Hospital in honor of Veteran’s Day. Guarding the flag in this manner is known as Vigil. I did Vigil through the Detachment 028 Air Force ROTC Honor Guard, of which I am the commander. We rotated in thirty minute shifts to ceremonially guard the American flag through 18 degree weather. Having the honor to do this was an awakening experience, but we also had a ton of fun too. In our downtime between shifts I was able to spend time with my friends. At Embry-Riddle, you will form a group of really close friends due to the smaller nature of the campus. This is especially exaggerated by participation in activities, such as ROTC or engineering clubs. The group of friends I formed though experiences such as Vigil are people who I trust and I know I will be working with someday as we pursue our common passions for aviation and the Air Force.
Overall, life has been good. School is challenging, but incredibly rewarding. The experiences I’m having here only seem to get better with each semester. Until next time!