Dr. Thomas Stafford describes what he learned from his time serving in the military and Army ROTC and how students can learn leadership skills by joining the military.
Interview on 2012-05-03
00:00:00.000 Well I'll have to tell you that military service for me was one of the very best things that ever happened to me.
00:00:08.389 For one thing if you go through ROTC it doesn't matter whether it's Army or Navy, Marine Corps or the Air Force,
00:00:16.625 you're going to have-.
00:00:20.483 You will be in a program that will develop you as a leader
00:00:25.709 and develop your leadership skills way beyond any other thing you could do in college.
00:00:31.635 You know you can take a course on leadership and you can study it and you can discuss it in class,
00:00:38.499 but that doesn't even come close to discussing it in class and then going out in the field and being in charge of a squad or a platoon,
00:00:49.241 which is what you do in ROTC.
00:00:52.114 So the primary impact on me was in development of my leadership skills
00:00:58.815 and I like to tell people that some of the things that I do right now to this day in my job as vice chancellor
00:01:07.816 are things that I learned in Army ROTC and that I learned on active duty.
00:01:12.863 One of the great things about going through that program is that
00:01:17.770 when you finish the program and you graduate from college you're going to be twenty-two, maybe twenty-three years old
00:01:24.591 and if you go right on to active duty as a second lieutenant you're going to be given a responsibility
00:01:34.904 that anybody else wouldn't have until they're in their late twenties, probably.
00:01:40.053 I mean you're going to have a lot of responsibility.
00:01:43.708 You're going to be in charge of a lot of people, a lot of equipment, and probably a good bit of money in terms of the budget.
00:01:52.903 My point is that you'll get a higher level of responsibility at an earlier age than you ever would doing anything else,
00:02:02.563 and that's one of the reasons why I really encourage students at NC State to look at ROTC.
00:02:10.257 Then once you've gone on active duty then you're really going to be tested because your training is over.
00:02:20.072 Your preparation is over and you're out there and you're in charge and you're in a real, live military environment
00:02:29.652 and you've got to take charge and project your leadership skills.
00:02:34.314 You've got to let the people who are in your unit know that you're the leader and you're in charge.
00:02:41.185 Those are the main things that I learned in the Army.