ROTC is No Longer Exclusively for Men
Introducing Female ROTC at Kyungwon University
Have you ever heard of ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps)? ROTC is a superior training course that selects excellent applicants, who are college students. For two years the ROTC teaches students military knowledge while they take majoring courses at the same time. Last year, Korea introduced the American female ROTC system to Universities around Korea.
Last year, sixty female ROTC cadets were selected to demonstrate their skills from seven separate universities. The seven universities were: Sookmyung Women’s University, Kangwon University, Korea University, Myungji University, YoungNam University, Chonnam University, and Chungnam University. Sookmyung Women’s University entered 30 cadets, whereas all other universities entered 5 cadets each. Starting this year, all universities that have the ROTC programs will be accepting female members who have completed up to two years of college.
The second recruitment of female ROTC will select 250 cadets this year. The females are not selected per school like the men are, but selected per region. Students will be chosen from six different regions (Kwangwon, Gyeongsang, Chungcheong, Jeolla, Seoul, Gyeonggi), and 320 students will be selected after taking a required written exam. Kyungwon University students will compete with students from other universities in the Gyeonggi region. With female ROTC, application requirements and selection procedures are the same with those of male ROTC cadets. However, for long distance running, females are required to run only 1.2KM compared to the males‘ requirement of 1.5KM. Next, there are group discussions, interviews, personally directed questions, and posture and stance examinations. After all these tests are done, documents are checked so that there will be no problems during the enrollment procedure. In the end 25 students will be selected for the 2nd class of female ROTC members. During the first stage, the ROTC program selected 50 candidates that were reduced to 38 cadets on June 10th. Then in mid-August they will announce the final 25 members.
Starting this year, Kyungwon University has recruited female ROTC candidates. A total of 33 students have applied, and 32 have taken the exam. Out of these students from Kyungwon University, two students have successfully passed the first stage of the test. Kyungwon University was very supportive towards the students by handing out expected question sheets. And to help them prepare for the physical exam, Kyungwon University helped the students train and provided them with supportive goods such as headbands and protein shakes.
Currently, as of the announcement of second stage winners, two applicants from Kyungwon University have passed. These future heroes are Kim Aram (majoring in Accounting) and Park Inae (majoring in Nursing). Kim Aram said that the desire to become a soldier was inspired by her father, who is a professional military man, and her sister who is also an officer. She pointed out that being in the ROTC while attending school has many benefits. Park Inae said that even though signing up for the ROTC means that she has to give up her hopes of working for a hospital right after graduating; she feels that joining the ROTC is a positive thing. Park says that even in the military there are positions where a woman is required. The 52nd class of Kyungwon University’s ROTC marks the first time that female students have applied; therefore, this holds a deep and historic meaning.
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