Cadet experience articles



Cadets of the Wolf Pack battalion experience a wide array of training outside of the UNR campus to include internships at the Pentagon, joint operations with the Nevada National Guard, and eveny working in hospitals. Check out some of there experiences below!



CDT Adam Olsen - ROTC Experience at the University of Nevada, Reno

Reno, Nevada- As a student at the University of Nevada, Reno I have always wanted to serve in the military and thought that after college I would do just that. Growing up in Southern California I lived thirty minutes away from Edwards Air Force Base and because of this was influenced heavily on joining the Air Force. After I graduated High School I was accepted into CSU Sacramento and started attending ROTC classes for the Air Force. It was some of the most fun I had ever had but due to other events in my life I had to move to Chico, CA. There I attended school and drove down to Sacramento once a week to attend lab for Air Force ROTC. However, I decided to transfer to UNR in order to get my B.S. degree in physics and had to formally leave Air Force ROTC. Once I transferred to UNR I started attending classes and working but was missing the one thing I had wanted to do and that was to serve in the military. After two years of going to UNR I approached the Army ROTC department to see if I had the option to be able to commission as a second lieutenant. I was told I could however the class schedule I would have to go through would not be the one a normal four year student goes through. The work load and learning curve would be tremendous but as a future Army officer one cannot quit if the task was deemed hard. I had decided that this was it and the Army had provided the tools and resources I needed to succeed. The decision on joining the Army ROTC was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. The Army provides something that the Air Force did not and has also provided me with leadership abilities that could not be learned anywhere else. The ROTC program at UNR provides top notch physical fitness as well as instilling the Armyís core values which transfers over to both the professional and personal level. My story is one of many where people believe if they do not start ROTC right at the beginning of college then they will not be able to. This is a myth that should be laid to rest for anyone interested in ROTC that is still in college. If one is motivated and has the passion to become the fullest potential of ones-self then UNR Army ROTC is a great way to achieve this goal. Along with physical fitness the Army ROTC program includes Humvee roll over training, simulated rifle marksmanship and leadership labs every Friday to test cadetís knowledge of army values and tactics. As someone who joined ROTC later in his college career, it is a program that is there and the Army is there to help you become the best leader possible.


CDT Chris Wallace - The Heart of an OR: A Journey Through Army Medicine

As today's military becomes more and more diverse it is in the best interest of our future leaders to seek out new and challenging environments to test their skills and develop their sense of culture. Being a cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corp offers numerous opportunities to engage in these challenging environments through experiences such as traveling abroad with foreign militaries, diving with the Army special forces, or even jumping out of airplanes. However the ROTC program also offers valuable development in places you would never think possible, such as the heart of an operating room in an Army Hospital. Engineers, lawyers, and of course, doctors are also products of Uncle Sam's handy work, which takes a great foothold in cadets of the ROTC program. Although glorious these jobs may sound it is important for those who seek them to start off early for their journey will be long and arduous. One such cadet, Chris Wallace, was afforded the opportunity to jump start his Army medical career through the Army Medical Department Internship Program (AMEDDIP). As a third year ROTC student Cadet Wallace is well into his pre-medical endeavors, however as an aspiring Army Doctor it was important to him that he explore the world of Army medicine in order to gain a grasp on the work that he yearns to do as an Army Officer. Pediatrics. That was the only information given to Cadet Wallace when he got word that he was headed to the Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to participated in the internship program. After finishing a one month course in Army leadership development Cadet Wallace was physically tired but mentally eager to see what the next month of pediatric medicine would have in store for him at Madigan. Cadet Wallace described his first encounter at the hospital as one that came with quite a shock. "The first day I walked in I was given a pair of scrubs and told to report to the third floor OR where a caesarian section was being performed. I had never seen a surgery before so I knew this day was going to be good!". Wallace was "thrown into" a group of fourth year medical students from all around the nation who were working in the hospital pediatric department. Wallace expressed that he was eager to work with the well seasoned physicians at the hospital, but states that he was more interested in interacting with the medical students because he could most closely identify with them. The medical students were near the end of their clinical rotations and would soon venture into the world of Army Medicine as novel doctors with a new rank of "Captain" in the United States Army. The majority of the medical students were recent products of the Reserve Officer Training Corp. Wallace used his time during the internship to pick the brains of the medical students on the trials and tribulations that he would soon face in medical school. They assured him that although difficult, medical school could be completed while still fulfilling your commitments as an Army officer. One of the medical students, Jeremy Ross, states that he would have loved to participate in an internship such as the AMEDDIP. Ross reported, "When I was going through my medical school interview process I didn't have much to talk about when it came to medical experiences. The AMEDDIP is a great opportunity for cadets such as Wallace to gain valuable experience working in an Army hospital. It's not something that most people will get a chance to do". Wallace states that he got the chance to observe and even participate in a variety of medical procedures including physical exams, suturing, and utilizing an electrocardiogram with the hospital's pediatric cardiologist. Wallace states that his most memorable moment at the hospital was when he got the chance to hold a new born baby after a C-section and he transferred the baby to the neonatal intensive care unit team. "The surgeon literally turn around and placed this baby, who was seconds old, into my arms! The medical student that was supposed to make the transfer was called away and I was asked to assist. I couldn't give up the opportunity and I'm glad I didn't", said Wallace as he recalled the experience in the OR. In addition to the medical procedures Cadet Wallace experienced he also got a chance to work side-by-side a pediatric cardiologist, an infectious disease specialist, and a neonatal surgeon. It was here that Wallace really got into the heart of what medicine is all about. "These people have been doing their jobs for years and they're still not tired. I can only imagine what it would be like to work as a surgeon and also a lieutenant colonel in the Army, it must be exhausting", said Wallace. One infectious disease specialist, Dr. Kanjali Sunz, states, "Working as an Army physician is tough work but you know that it's work that has to be done, especially when working with kids, our nation's future." While working with the doctors Wallace was able to engage in complex conversations about patient care and diagnostic procedures. "Although I wasn't able to influence any patient care that was given, it was still very interesting to hear and see the way physicians work through medical conundrums and save lives in the process. Although Wallace gained many valuable experiences during the internship program he states, "I couldn't possibly comment on everything the internship offered because I learned so much!". Wallace spent a month at Madigan Army Medical Center where he rotated through various pediatric departments to include the neonatal intensive care unit, the pediatric ward, and the pediatric clinic. Wallace also states that while at Madigan he learned that the culture of Army medicine is different from civilian medicine in that patient care is going directly to America's heroes. Whether it be an army spouse, child, or a soldier themselves Army medicine is geared towards saving the lives of those men and women who are saving our lives, American lives. The Army Medical Department Internship Program is just one of the many internships that are offered to ROTC cadets. Every year cadets are afforded the opportunity to travel far and wide to places such as Washington, South Korea, Germany, and even the Pentagon in order to gain valuable experiences to place in their toolbox which they can later use as our nation's leaders. Although Cadet Wallace has his sights fixed on medicine, ROTC internships are also offered to cadets who are interested in areas of security intelligence, forensics, engineering, and much more. Despite that fact that Cadet Wallace is at the beginning of a long journey in Army Medicine he is grateful for being accepted into the AMEDDIP stating, "The experiences I gained at Madigan are a fantastic start to my medical career and have only motivated me to work harder towards my goal of becoming an Army doctor. Maybe I might work at Madigan one day...". For more information on the ROTC program and the internships they offer please visit: or