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ROTC Cadets “Lift Off” at Annual Black Hawk Rides

3-15 Helicopter ROTC (Kelly Watkins) (6 of 9).jpg
(Kelly Watkins / The Signpost)

As part of Weber State University’s ROTC program, Black Hawk helicopters paid their annual visit to offer helicopter rides to ROTC cadets on March 14.

The ROTC program was established at Weber State in 1971 and has provided the ground work for students to excel as leaders in the community and as officers in the U.S Army.

This year’s cadets and other dignitaries from the college and community who rode in the Black Hawks enjoyed beautiful spring weather. Blue skies and a warming sun added to the anticipation and experience of the participants.

The Black Hawk helicopters are a remarkable piece of American history. They have been used by the U.S Army since 1979 and continue to serve the nation. Before take off, the Black Hawks were open for onlookers to get an up-close look at the impressive helicopters.

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(Kelly Watkins / The Signpost)

The Black Hawks took off simultaneously and took its passengers for a ride up Ogden Canyon, around Pineview Reservoir, and back down the canyon. Each flight lasted roughly 15 minutes.

The opportunity to go for a ride in a Black Hawk is one of many highlights for Weber States ROTC cadets, but it is more than just a joy ride.

“At a basic level, this is training for our cadets,” said Tyler Guest, a marketing officer for Weber State’s ROTC program.

The Black Hawk flight is also a lab for ROTC students and a selling point for recruitment.

“This was my first time in a helicopter, and it was an incredible experience,” said Chuck Holland, Development Director for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

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(Kelly Watkins / The Signpost)

The ROTC program currently has about 100 students enrolled. Aside from Black Hawk helicopter rides, Holland said there are also numerous scholarship opportunities for ROTC cadets.

Some of these scholarships include full tuition, room and board, allowances for books and fees and a monthly stipend to offset living costs.

Colonel Webb, the department chair for Weber State’s ROTC program, gave perspective of what the ROTC program provides. Webb said the biggest draw for students to join the ROTC program is the “opportunity to serve our country” while also continuing their educations.

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