Have you ever seen a woman in military service uniform on campus? For the year 2016, there is only one female ROTC cadet in KNUE. The so-called ROTC, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, is a two-year college-based officer training program for training commissioned officers. Starting at Sookmyung Women’s University, women are allowed to enroll in ROTC since 2010. You might have seen male ROTC cadets, but it is very rare to see female ROTC cadets in KNUE, so INDIGO had an interview with Kim Ju-I, a sophomore of ethics education and the only female ROTC cadet in KNUE.
Q. What made you enroll in the ROTC program?
I have admired soldiers and have been affected by my older sister, who is a soldier. Actually, I applied to Republic of Korea Naval Academy when I was in high school, but failed. Still, I yearned to serve in the military and got to know about the ROTC program, but I did not know that women are allowed, because I did not see any of them in KNUE. Then, I found out there was the very first and sole female ROTC cadet in our school since it was established, so I applied to the program.
Q. Are female ROTC cadets trained with male ROTC cadets in the same way?
Yes. In school, we take military science courses as well as run along the certain course 4 days a week in the morning all together. Besides these situations, we do some training individually in the ROTC fitness room. However, men and women have a different standard in the monthly physical fitness test.
As for off-campus training, we go to Army Cadet Military School every vacation. As the same squad member with other men, women get the same training. Of course, we carry the same 20kg soldier gear as men do.
Q. Did you have any problem or difficulty as a female ROTC cadet?
Sometimes I got problems. For example, there are different barracks for male and female ROTC cadets. Once, I could not hear a message because they forgot to give it to the female barracks. Plus, I have met a male ROTC cadet who is a misogynist, which means people who hate women, during the vacation training. Apparently, he told female ROTC “Why did you women come here! You just stay here.” during some programs.
Q. Please share your memorable experience.
First of all, I will never forget the impressive scenery I saw when coming back from a night route march. It seemed like stars were about to fall upon me. The second one is related to the misogynist I mentioned. Even though I used to feel isolated because of him, I helped him a lot during the Learning and Teaching course, and because of that he has changed. Now we get along well together.
Q. Lastly, do you have any comment for readers?
Being an ROTC cadet might look very hard. It can be. However, you can get invaluable experience that others can never have. We can learn many things through training, working with fellows, and communicating with instructors. I am grateful that I meet many inspiring people, and experience a lot with them. After training, I feel I have matured more. Girls, I definitely recommend the ROTC program. Go apply for the 58th ROTC cadet!
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