Tips to survive ROTC
The movement to abolish ROTC has been growing by the day. People are questioning the relevance of the course, the law that enacted it, the people who ran it and even the lessons learned from it. In this age of hi-tech gadgetry, is the ROTC still worthy of the time, effort and money it is currently getting?
Justifying ROTC classes is the first order of battle. If I can remember correctly, the very first lesson I learned in ROTC was the enactment of Commonwealth Act No. 1 which states something like all able-bodied men are required to render military service to their country through its reserve units. Its funny because most schools exempt the most able-bodied of the population the Varsity players. I wonder why athletes are deprived of their right to defend their country?
Or maybe we really do not need all the able-bodied men to serve in the military. As the bandit Abu Sayyaf has proven, military warfare is not won on numbers but on tactics, ammunitions, gadgets and money.
But probably, the biggest ROTC burden that haunts the students is the high costs of taking ROTC courses. From the uniforms, to the projects and even to the snacks; the ROTC has become a milking cow for its officials and a marching white elephant for the students.
Indeed, all signs are saying that the ROTC is no longer responsive to the needs of the times. Maybe even suggesting that the current education curriculum should be reviewed and revised. More relevant subjects like technology courses and even sex education could replace ROTC. And if pro-ROTC proponents insist on the importance of marching-under-the-sun discipline, why not consider traffic management courses. Cadets should redirect their energy in battling one of our country's worst enemies, TRAFFIC.
And while we are unsure whether the abolition of the ROTC will come sooner as Erap's ouster or will linger longer than Marcos stayed in Malacaņang, here are some tips that will make ROTC classes more tolerable:
1. ROTC SONA Ask the school paper to interview the commandant and ask him to make promises or a SORA (State of the ROTC Article). This article can be used as a yardstick or a black mail tool to make sure that abuses will be checked.
2. DON'T BE A ROOKIE CADET Maybe it is better NOT to take the ROTC on your freshman year. Officers take advantage of the innocence of the greenhorns to bully them. So establish your presence on campus and maybe the officers will learn to respect you more.
3. GO AWOL There is an allowable number of absences I think five training days. Maximize it. Officers announce the activities in advance. Use your absences when difficult activities or hair cut checks are scheduled.
4. EXCESS is the BEST If you don't like ROTC, then don't try to impress your officers. Don't do special things just to be praised. In fact if you can be assigned to the EXCESS units, your life would be excessively easier. Anyway, grades in the ROTC is not included in the computation of your General Weighted Average.
5. FALL ONCE IN A WHILE Have you tried acting your way to the medics for treatment. Remember, they don't have the facilities to check whether you're faking or not. You can probably get a few hours of rest or, if you get lucky, they might even send you home.
6. BE CHARITABLE Join outreach programs sponsored by the ROTC. One session would be equivalent to one training day. Or if there is a permanent ROTC unit dedicated to charity programs. Enlist in that group. Doing charity gives you a feeling of fulfillment and it is better than marching around the campus.
7. JOIN THE VARSITY Varsity players are exempted from the ROTC. So if you what have it takes to be an athlete, why don't you use the ROTC as a motivation to be a part of your schools varsity team. Its better to work hard for the varsity where you can see that your efforts are at least used to some positive and tangible results.
***REMEMBER: Officers are too few to monitor all the cadets. You can think of other means of making ROTC training easier and lighter. Situations that are applicable to your local school or battalion set up. BE CREATIVE!!!