During a pandemic, it can be difficult to participate in on-campus activities. Luckily, one active and professional program available to UCI students is the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)! Through the ROTC, students can receive leadership training, gain hands-on military skills, and join a close-knit family. Interested in learning more about the ROTC? Then here are five easy ways that you can get involved!

1) Become an ROTC cadet!

Students can become cadets by signing up for the ROTC lecture and laboratory through UCI WebReg and communicating with Cadre members such as Staff Sergeant Jamie Mrazek and Captain Justin Nichol. By joining the ROTC, you will gain mentors that will help guide you through college, career goals, and military prospects. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to join a community of other like-minded and motivated cadets that will help you grow and develop. 

2) Join us for virtual physical training! 

Once you join the ROTC program, it’s time to get moving! Every Monday, ROTC cadets conduct a three- to four-mile run recorded on Strava, a social exercise tracker. Cadets strive for excellence, working to earn the top speed and creating a fun and competitive environment. Every Wednesday, cadets hop on Zoom together to conduct military movement drills, high-intensity interval training, and stretching drills. Not only does this virtual training help cadets improve their physical fitness, it also helps cadets establish a strong sense of camaraderie as they encourage and motivate each other to succeed.

 3) Participate in Ruck-a-thon!

During Winter or Spring Quarter, cadets don full combat gear and a 35-pound ruck and race for several miles to raise funds for ROTC training programs. Due to the pandemic, this year’s Ruck-a-thon will follow the appropriate health and safety protocols. Family and friends are encouraged to watch and cheer at a safe distance or livestream the event as cadets do their best to push their limits. Check https://www.facebook.com/UCIROTC for updates on how to watch and livestream this year’s event. 

 4) Join our Leadership Labs! 

Starting Week 3, the ROTC hosts in-person labs to provide leadership training to cadets. Cadets lead combat simulations and assume leadership positions in squad and platoon-sized missions such as Reconnaissance, Patrols, Attack, Raid, and Ambush while maintaining appropriate social distancing guidelines. The labs teach and assess combat tactics, combat training, and leadership development. The goal of the Leadership Labs is to ensure that all cadets reach tactical competence.

 5) Follow us on social media! 

Keep up with our training through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UCIROTC and our Instagram at the handle @UCIrvine_ROTC. We encourage you to like and follow our content, tag yourself, or get tagged if you join us in our events! We also invite you to comment on our posts or message us to reach out for more information!

 If you are interested in joining the Army ROTC at UCI and want to chat about the opportunities this program can provide, please visit our website at https://armyrotc.due.uci.edu/ or contact our Assistant Recruiting Operations Officer, First Lieutenant Royce Stanfill at rstanfil@uci.edu. We are excited to welcome you to the ROTC family!