My name is Joseph Signorelli and I am a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. I am currently at FT Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. At the moment I am serving as a fire support officer with 5-1 CAV, as well as a mortar platoon leader for a 120MM mortar platoon.
In addition to these jobs, I am also the safety officer for the Troop that I am with, as well as the officer in charge of overseeing the TrIST (Troop Intelligence Support Team) for the Troop. I really enjoy the job I am doing, but I did not expect to be doing a job that primarily involves me acting as an Infantry and a Military Intelligence Officer when I received my commission as a Field Artillery Officer. However, in the current environment all officers and future officers should be ready to learn and do jobs that they may not have been specifically trained to do.
ROTC gave me the foundation I needed to be a successful officer. I believe the most important skills ROTC taught me were how to adapt to changing situations and to remain calm under pressure. Other invaluable skills I learned in ROTC were Powerpoint and Excel. As an officer I use these systems to develop the paperwork that allows me to track my soldiers, equipment, and tasks.
Military bearing and discipline are extremely valuable lessons learned in ROTC. When you report to your unit, the first impression you make is the most important. If you report to your commander and you don't have that discipline and you make a bad impression, it will stick with you and affect the freedom with which you are allowed to operate without supervision. I would also encourage all cadets to develop their leadership presence as this will make or break you as an officer. Officers who look and act confidently in their plans and actions find they are better able to lead soldiers because, even if they are uncertain of what they are doing, the soldiers they lead will be confident in them. At the same time, officers may have very well developed plans, but if they don't sound and act with confidence, the soldiers they lead will not be confident in them or the plan.