Women Contribute to TAMIU ROTC Growth
Posted: 10/28/2009

TAMIU ROTC Sees Growth in Women

The U.S. Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) is one of the Nation’s top leadership programs for men and women interested in a career in the military. Texas A&M International University is one of the more than 1,400 colleges and universities in the country to offer an Army ROTC program.

The TAMIU ROTC program is now seeing an increase in the enrollment of women. The amount of female cadets in the TAMIU’s ROTC program has tripled since Spring 2009.

ROTC student

For more photos, click here.

Ana Tinajero, color guard commander and TAMIU freshman, is one of the women who joined the TAMIU ROTC program this fall, but is no stranger to ROTC programs.

“I was in the ROTC program all through high school, graduating as a Battalion Commander,” said Tinajero.

“I think it’s great that more women are joining the ROTC Program on campus. Women have the same opportunities as men and are valued as equal members of the team,” she explained.

“It’s liberating to be held to the same standards as males; sometimes it’s like we are competing with each other, and we can do anything they can,” she added.

After a 30-year absence, the TAMIU ROTC was reactivated in 2003.

ROTC organizers note that throughout the years, the Army ROTC at the University level has seen many changes, but the mission remains the same, “To develop the future leaders of the United States Army,” said Captain Martin Longoria, TAMIU instructor of Military Science.

TAMIU offers ROTC as an elective curriculum that a student can take along with their required university classes. The curriculum prepares students with the tools, training and experiences they need to help them succeed in any competitive environment. Students can earn a degree of their choice while exploring a career in the military.

“It’s not easy waking up early to be ready to do physical training at 5:30 a.m., but it’s a commitment that I have made to myself; this is what I want to do,” said Tinajero.

Students can feel free to take ROTC classes and not have an obligation to the United States Army, said Tinajero.

“If you’re on scholarship like me, a National ROTC scholarship winner, once I graduate I have committed to serve eight years for the U.S. Army, four years active duty and four years as a reservist,” Tinajero explained.

The ROTC program offers campus-based scholarships that include two, two and a half, and three-year scholarships to qualifying students meeting requirements.

After graduating from the U.S. Army ROTC program as an Army ROTC Cadet, a student earns the rank of Second Lieutenant, beginning their career as an Army Officer. The ROTC program offers students more than skill training, it offers them a career. Officers in the U.S. Army can lead, counsel, strategize and motivate other soldiers in all situations to adjust to environments that are always changing.

“With all that is going on in the world, I think about the time I’m going to serve and it does concern me, but I knew I wanted to serve since 9/11 happened, and I was in the fifth grade,” Tinajero recalled.

Army ROTC is a program that provides college-trained officers for the active Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve. It is traditionally a four-year program, divided into two parts: a Basic Course and an Advanced Course. The Basic Course is normally taken in the freshman and sophomore years. The Advanced Course is usually taken during the final two years.

“Leaders are not born, but made through a strong, steadfast commitment to excel and lead others,” said Captain Longoria.

For more information on the TAMIU ROTC program, please contact the Department of Military Science at 326.3011, e-mail martin.longoria@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Student Center, room 128. -Written by Rebecca M. Martinez, PRMIS intern.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu