The Skyhawk Veterans Association (SVA) and the UTM ROTC are partnering through a mentorship program to help both cadets and student veterans prepare for their futures.
This program encourages ROTC cadets through their training and onto their commissioning into the United States Army to help younger members become involved with and learn as much as possible from the wisdom student veterans have to offer.
The mentorship program was tested during the spring 2017 semester to set guidelines as to what they expected to happen. Now, SVA is prepared to involve more veterans and cadets in the program.
Each veteran involved will be assigned one or two cadets to help prepare for their commissioning and what to expect during their service. In return, the cadets will help their veteran with any needs they have on campus to help the transition into civilian lifestyle easier. The main goal of this program is to foster a relationship between the past and the future service members of this country.
“In addition to supporting individual cadets, these mentorship sessions will give student veterans a chance to provide a form of community service while also serving as a way to give additional purpose and meaning to their time in uniform,” said Lt. Col. Howard, professor of Military Science.
The mentorship will help provide means for student veterans to put to use the invaluable knowledge gained during their military career to inspire cadets to further their desire to serve.
Johnny Dyer, an Army veteran and the Student Veterans Coordinator, participated in the trial program and believes it does benefit both the veteran and the cadet.
“A cadet joins their first unit with no idea of the expectations they have towards the young people that are placed under them. The veterans give them an idea of the commitment they have no only to the country but to the young men and women that they are in charge of,” said Dyer. “The cadets can help the veterans with transitioning from the military to college life and help make them successful.”
The SVA and ROTC hope this will bring a sense of comraderie between the two programs, and will lead to further cooperation together in different events such as the Veteran’s Day Commemoration, homecoming and the annual picnic.