Feb 132003
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

Even with a potential war situation with Iraq, ROTC students at CSU are no more involved than any other student.

“I still have two more years (in the ROTC program),” said Sarah Ortner, a sophomore biology student. “My job right now is to become an officer.”

Ortner said though she does think about the war situation, she has complete faith in the president and his staff and is ready to serve where she is needed after she becomes an officer.

Currently, President George W. Bush has not requested an increase in the size of the military, said Leslie Pratt, an ROTC assistant professor of aerospace studies.

The only level on which the ROTC program has changed is in discussion of a potential war.

“We haven’t altered our training but class discussions have changed,” Pratt said. “We’re talking about the situation. It’s on the front of our minds. If anyone’s more anti-war, it’s us.”

Pratt said the Iraqi situation is not something entirely new to the military, but the situation has been made more public.

“We’ve been following the Iraqi regime,” Pratt said. “The public has just realized there’s a problem in Iraq. There’s always been a problem.”

While freshman ROTC students have at least three years before direct involvement with a war situation, recent graduates will be closely involved with whatever happens next said Jackson Self, an Army ROTC professor of military science.

Most likely the students still in the program will be involved in restoring order in the Middle East.

“(A war is) not something they’ll be directly involved with,” said Self, who has been to the Middle East on two occasions. “But it’s something that weighs heavily on their minds.”

Kurt Cepeda, an ROTC member, graduated from CSU this past December with a computer science degree. Though his assignment will probably keep him in the United States, he said that other recent graduates could potentially be deployed elsewhere.

“It depends on your job,” Cepeda said. “Some people will be deployed. We are training to be officers. We’re here getting our degrees.”

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