ROTC Cadet Continues Legacy
ROTC Public Affairs Officers Jasmine Schultz is graduating from Cameron University in May. Despite challenges over the past four years, Schultz has persevered and will now successfully complete the program.
Schultz, an IT major, said she is glad she decided to join the CU ROTC program when she was 18 years old.
“I’ve had a really amazing experience in ROTC,” Schultz said. “They’ve done a lot for me. I’ve learned so much.”
After graduating from high school in Europe, Schultz moved to Oklahoma. Her parents remain in Europe today.
“I was born here actually—right across the street at Comanche Memorial,” she said, “but when I was the age of two, I moved with my family. We moved to the Netherlands first, and then we were moving around Europe for the entirety of my life until I came to college here.
“My dad was in the Army,” she said. “He was a field artillery officer … He retired. … But he works for the military still.”
Schultz said her family was the biggest influence on her decision to join the Army.
“The Army had always been really good to my family,” she said. “It was a lifestyle that I was used to, and I knew that I was always going to do something military-related.
“I have a long family history of military service. My grandpa was in the service and past family members. … I was continuing the tradition.”
One of the challenges Schultz faced when moving to the States without her parents and sister was a feeling of isolation.
“I was a young, small freshman,” she said. “I was lost and didn’t know where I was going, just like any other freshman, I suppose. … As time went on, obviously I started to find my own little notch in the puzzle.”
According to Schultz, her experience in ROTC comforted her in her isolation and helped her gain confidence.
“I had trouble speaking in front of people,” she said. “I didn’t really know what I was capable of. I had never really challenged myself before, and in ROTC, I had to challenge myself in PT, in being in front of people [and] in learning to be a leader.
“I basically found out all sorts of things about myself: what my limits are, what I need to work on and what I’m good at. Without ROTC, I never would have been able to do that.”
Schultz said she now believes she can do anything as long as she works hard enough for it.
In early 2017, she will most likely be in Fort Gordon, George, undergoing training for her job.
“In September, I’ll be going to my basic officer leadership course, and that will be for my branch, and that will last 16 weeks,” she said. “After that, come February 1, I will transfer to my unit, and I will be a Signal Officer.
“Luckily, I was able to get the branch I wanted because it focused on my degree. … Generally, Signal deals with networking,”
Schultz is ready for the next season of her life and hopes other students can also embrace the future boldly.
“I’m excited to go to a new place, meet new people and experience a totally different environment,” she said. “[Don’t] be afraid of new experiences. They may be foreign, but sometimes, you just have to jump in.”
According to Schultz, Cameron ROTC encourages hands-on learning that enables students to blossom as leaders.
“No one who comes into the ROTC program knowing everything,” she said. “You learn it by doing … If you struggle with push-ups, there’s no other way to get around it: you have to practice push-ups.
“If you want to get better at it, you have to practice it.”