WHAT'S NEXT: Caitlyn Rogers on Military Service

By Arkansas NEXT on Friday, September 25, 2020


Age: 19
Hometown: Cabot
Grade: Sophomore
Graduation Year: 2023
Serving in the: Air Force
Currently Attending: Arkansas State University in Jonesboro
Working Toward: Bachelor’s degree in radiological sciences
End Goal: Commission into the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant

From a very young age, Caitlyn Rogers knew she wanted to attend Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Caitlyn also knew she wanted to enlist in the military, so she went out of her way to meet the right people to make her dream a reality.

During her senior year of high school, Caitlyn attended an ROTC meeting at ASU and got in touch with a few cadre members. “After leaving that meeting I knew that’s where I belonged, so it made my decision easy from then on out.”

One decision she was unsure of was she her major, but eventually decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in radiological science.

Every day in the ROTC program looks the same for Caitlyn. At 5:30 a.m. she wakes up and attends her company PT meeting, which ends around 7:30 a.m. every morning, and she’s in the classroom by 8 a.m.

After her classes have ended, she goes to work at a local bakery, and then finishes her homework before going to bed.

“There are so many reasons why I love being a part of ROTC,” Caitlyn said. “To me, the cadets in the program are not just people commissioning with you; they are your family. I have met some of the best people in ROTC, and I know whether they go National Guard, Reserves, or active duty — if I need them — they’re a phone call away.”


Length of Program
All branches require a minimum of a high school diploma, although officer positions and rankings require a bachelor’s degree, which can be acquired through a four-year school. Basic military training can take between 7-13 weeks. Following basic training, formal training can take another 10-20 weeks.

Enlisting in an ROTC program comes with many benefits. The Post-9/11 Montgomery GI Bill can help cover some or all of the educational costs for veterans searching for higher education or training. If you’re a member of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard Reserve or the National Guard Reserve, you can find out if you qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve Program. 

This option is for you if

► You want to serve your country.
You’re an adventure seeker.
You like the idea of FREE college.

To enlist in the military, applicants must meet the right requirements. Requirements can vary depending on the branch, but these are the basics:

  • Minimum age of 17
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent-resident status
  • High school diploma
  • Never convicted of a felony
  • Pass a medical exam

ROTC programs provide standard housing options for college students. ASU is the only non-military school in Arkansas to provide dormitories completely dedicated to the ROTC students. Many non-military Arkansas colleges provide ROTC programs with on-campus dormitories, such as the ASU-Beebe ROTC Program, Harding University ROTC Program, the Lyon College Program and more.

Cool Perk
“The cool perks would be getting to meet so many amazing people throughout your contract,” Caitlyn says. “[Whether] you're active duty and traveling states or countries, or in the national guard and staying within the state, you make so many connections that you will most likely need later in life. Those people become your family and you can always rely on them no matter what.”

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, astate.edu, goarmy.com