February 27, 2024
Michael Sampson--Student participates in the training exercises on the lawn near the Gazebo

California Baptist University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) grew in number and character this year as 18 cadets joined the program, increasing to a total of 50 cadets.

“The program expanded due to our recruiting resources,” Sgt. 1st Class Jay Villaseñor, military science instructor, said. “Our Cadre and cadets spent a lot of time spreading the word about ROTC here at CBU. I would also like to include the Admission Office, Engineering Department and our ROTC account email as playing an enormous part in recruiting.”

Not only has there been change in the program due to growth but there seems to be a personal change that comes from
the cadet’s involvement in the program.

“Changes that I have seen in the cadets, at least for our sophomores through seniors, is maturity. All were pumped up and ready to go two days prior to beginning of school,” Villaseñor said.

There are many things that set CBU apart from other universities and the ROTC program is no different. ROTC at CBU opportunities for students to take advantage of that other schools do not have.

“What sets the program apart from the other schools is probably the scholarship match with free room and board. Not every university that has ROTC offers free room and board,” Villaseñor said.

CBU’s ROTC program is one devoted to developing leadership. The program offers Bachelor’s of Arts degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Public Administration and Organizational Leadership as well as Liberal Studies with a concentration in Human Development.

Cadets are taught by army faculty and take part in educational courses as well as rigorous activities such as repelling, land navigation and sports. The program seeks to “give students a competitive edge.”

“It’s a great program,” Cadet Jacob Wilkins said. “It offers great classes that really teach you good skills.”

Not only does ROTC produce graduates who “are leaders, thinkers and decision-makers,” but they also encourage a unique bond among the cadets.

“Something that students may not understand about the program is the camaraderie that each cadet displays day in and day out,” Villaseñor shared. “They have developed a strong bond amongst themselves. That is pretty awesome for cadets!”

“It’s a family,” Wilkins said. “The military talks a lot about brotherhood and that’s true, that’s what it is. In uniform or not, they are really close.”

When thinking of the future of the cadets and the program, Villaseñor reflects on CBU’s direct involvement in the program expanding and how CBU has been the center and the heart of the program.

“With the great support of President Ellis, his faculty and staff, we will continue to get stronger and be the best army producing officer nation wide,” Villaseñor said.