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Military Science Program

Kenneth Justo

My name is Kenneth Aguas Justo and I am a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. I am currently stationed at Fort Drum, NY and I am a platoon leader with C-Troop, 3-71 CAV. I am in RISTA (Reconnaissance, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition) platoon, basically, a scout platoon. I am in charge of 18 highly motivated, strong, and mentally tough individuals.

ROTC prepared me for my current job position in that it taught me how to lead soldiers. Leading from the front and being the officer making decisions and taking into consideration their safety. Knowing their job positions from platoon leader to the basic soldier is an asset that you will learn in ROTC. You will see how the "soldier works" and notice how the chain of command works along with the responsibilities within their job. ROTC slowly transforms you from being the basic soldier to a leader and taking charge.

The best experience so far in the Army for me is being able to receive a platoon leader position and being able to train with them, understand their train of thought, and how they operate prior to me deploying to Afghanistan. I definitely take that to heart because with the war right now, platoon leaders deploy, meet their platoon, don't get to work with them before hand, and are expected to lead. That is a tough role to play. So I definitely find that I was lucky and how things worked out for me. Along with receiving a platoon leader position, another good experience was being able to go to military schools while in ROTC. You learn a lot about yourself and about people in the Army. You will see what they think of the Army and what they expect you to do as a future leader. You will make friends and future contacts that will help you along the way in the military. I still talk to a 1SG in the Army that I went to Mountain Warfare School with in 2008. Be a good person, show initiative, and the will to learn and you will succeed.

Last thoughts would be, don't take any training for granted. Regardless if it is boring or you don't agree with it, it happens for a reason. Just learn from it and enjoy it because when it is your time as a future officer in the Army, you will look back and remember what you did and why you did it. You can then relate it to your job and use what was taught or even change it to make it better. Ultimately, there is the idea, and then there is your idea. What ever you are thinking, stick by it and you will never go wrong.