Maranatha’s “Rock Solid” ROTC program possesses qualified leadership, dedicated cadets, and an established tradition of excellence.
In years past, ROTC at MBU has successfully trained both men and women as military leaders. Its current cadets recognize the value of female representation in the military, and they hope to see more women commit to ROTC at Maranatha.
Because both men and women have valuable strengths to contribute to the military, MBU’s ROTC program welcomes female cadets who desire to serve their country.
Contrary to common belief, women are certainly capable of entering ROTC. In fact, they often do so for the same reasons men would.
According to Cadet Jonathan Chovan, “Females should enter the MBU ROTC program for the same reasons males enter the program. ROTC gives people the opportunity to serve their country in big ways and advance their own careers.”
To graduate from the program, both men and women need determination and discipline. They both require intellectual, physical and mental strength. They both can be leaders in the United States military.
What about the Brotherhood?
While Maranatha’s cadets may have formed a strong brotherhood, that isn’t to say females would not be eagerly accepted. Many of the cadets actually believe the lack of females has stunted the program’s growth. Without interaction between both sexes in a military context, cadets cannot be fully prepared for the reality of today’s military.
“The military is a profession where female leadership is welcomed and encouraged,” says Cadet Robert Kile.
As fellow cadet Matt Wetzel says, “ROTC has had female leadership and male leadership, but we are all one army.”
The fact is, women are needed in the ROTC program just as men are. Women who do desire to serve their country in combat have that freedom, but females have many other military career options as well. All military positions have one commonality: they can be filled by a qualified woman.
Captain DeGreef notes “a strong need” for females in the medical, administrative, and management positions that help keep the military functional. Their intellectual capabilities, perspective and leadership skills are all valuable tools.
One Who Saw the Need
As the men of Maranatha’s ROTC program understand, women have a valuable perspective and skillset to offer. Maranatha provides an excellent opportunity for them to train and grow as military leaders.
Lieutenant Rosa Lewis is a living testament that truth. As a woman who desired to serve her country, she came to Maranatha in 2010 as a Biology major and joined ROTC. Four years later, she proudly became the first female cadet to graduate from Maranatha’s ROTC program.
Lewis did face challenges during her ROTC experience. But the demands on her were no greater than any man’s. “The same things the guys struggled with, I struggled with,” she says. “The courses and the physical training were designed to be difficult regardless of who you are.”
Yet Lewis overcame these obstacles to become a First Lieutenant serving at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
“Maranatha’s ROTC program set me up for success,” she says. “Not only are the academic and physical skills necessary, but my spiritual foundation has proven to be the most important factor in my career thus far.”
Looking towards her future, Lieutenant Lewis plans to soon complete her Master’s degree in Environmental Management. In May she will become a Captain and begin the Chemical Captains Career Course at Fort Leonard Wood.
Lieutenant Lewis stands as an outstanding example of female military leadership. Lewis viewed herself as an equal who experienced the same challenges as everyone else. She needed just as much determination and discipline as the men surrounding her.
She states, “I am grateful for the strength and abilities God has given me in order to become an example for other female cadets to follow. Fears can be dispelled. Hearts can be encouraged. And the question, “Can I do it?” is answered. Yes.”