What made you choose ECU?
I was looking for a school with a good ROTC program that could offer me a scholarship, and also allow me to stay close to home. ECU’s ROTC program is outstanding. For me, military service is kind of a family tradition. My great-grandfather was in the service during World War II, my grandfather served, and both my parents are in the military. Now it’s my turn. I want to serve my country. I feel like it’s every young man’s responsibility to do that. One of the things that is unique about our program is the support it gets from the larger university community. It’s one of the things I am most proud of here at ECU. At many universities, ROTC programs are treated as if they are a burden. I’ve never felt that way about our program here. We receive amazing support. More than we deserve.
What is a typical day like for you as an ROTC cadet?
Well I am a level four military cadet, so it is a little different for me than some of the younger cadets. As a Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, I have a lot more responsibility, so I spend much of my day in the ROTC offices preparing for battalion training and administrative tasks. But my basic schedule is the same as everyone else. I'm up every day at 5:00 a.m. We have physical training (PT) from 6:00 a.m to 7:00 a.m., and then it's on to class. After a full day of class, I work out again at the Student Rec Center in the early evening and try to get home by 8:00 p.m. to study and prepare for the next day.
What has your time at ECU taught you about leadership?
That leadership is an art. As a battalion commander for ROTC, I am expected to lead others. It's in the job description. There are probably a million different ways to motivate someone, but everyone has to figure out what works best for them. Some people are vocal leaders. Some people are emotional leaders. I like to lead by example. My cadets know that I won't ask them to do anything I'm not willing to do myself. A good example of that is PT. We go out there every morning. If I'm out there working hard, I know that they will be more inclined to work hard as well.