LOS ANGELES, CA –- Alberto Anguiano has been at Norwich University for over four months. He is a member of the Norwich Cadet Corps. The University also has a traditional ROTC program in which there is a distinct difference between the two programs. Upon his arrival to Norwich he was placed in quarantine for one week, because every student had to be quarantined and tested for COVID-19. Alberto’s second week comprised mainly of Drill and Ceremony, an activity he is all so familiar with already by being a member of the Garfield JROTC program. His third week started off with cadet boot camp as part of the introductory phase of the cadet experience. Following the week of boot camp, the academic fall semester session began.
Alberto’s daily Cadet life routine begins with a 4:50 AM wakeup Monday through Friday. On the weekends he gets to “sleep in” for a 5:20 AM wakeup on Saturdays, and 8:20 on AM wakeup on Sundays.
The Juniors and Seniors cadets are primarily in charge of all freshman and enforce a wide range of rules. For example, the Rook Cadets (first year recruits) are not allowed to use their phones except for 10 minutes calls on Sunday, nor use their iPad for taking pictures etc. Privileges and merits are earned as weeks pass, based on performances. In addition, the new Cadets “Rooks” have to shower, change into uniform in 5 minutes or less. Rooks are required to march everywhere outside the academic buildings. Rooks also have to greet all Officers and Non-Commissioned (Including Cadets) by their full rank and last name unless told otherwise. Lastly, Rooks are to refer to themselves as “This Recruit” when speaking to a Cadet unless told to stand at ease. There are many other rules and adjustments, but these are only a few of the basic ones.
Only Seniors are Officers, the highest rank a freshman can achieve is a private and the highest a sophomore can obtain is a Sergeant. Alberto explains that the benefits of Army JROTC, consisting of lessons learned and skills taught was very beneficial in his transitioning into the Cadet Corps - Beginning with the mission of the JROTC, Cadet Creed, Core abilities, Army Values, Garfield HS Army JROTC motto (Responsibility, Courage, Discipline) Leadership principles, Attributes of leadership, JROTC curriculum, Service learning, School support activities, Community service, Volunteering, Instructors worldly experience, Academic excellence and college preparation has made this “Then to Now” transformation a reality.
Alberto admits that the uniforms of the Norwich Cadet Corps are somewhat different in appearance, however the same Army Regulations AR 670-1 that governs the uniform, is applicable. The Norwich Cadet Corps experience is a challenge, and Alberto is making changes within himself to meet that challenge.