Interview with ROTC’s Program Manager Stephanie Rokes

The U.S Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC for short, is one of the nation’s top
leadership programs. The mission of the ROTC program is to develop students into U.S. Army
Officers while working to earn their degree. The ROTC program will even help provide
scholarships and tuition assistance for students. The Siskiyou sat down with Stephanie Rokes, the SOU ROTC Professor of Military Science, for an interview on what the ROTC program is and her background before coming to the ROTC Program here at Southern Oregon University.

Before becoming Southern Oregon University’s ROTC Military Science Professor, tell us
about your life.

“I am an alumnus of SOU; I graduated in 2012 and received a commission from the SOU ROTC
program to the Oregon Army National Guard. After that, I attended Simpson University and
earned my master’s in education. About 5 years ago, I came back to the SOU ROTC program and
worked in Human Resources. Then I started working full-time for the Oregon Army National
Guard with the 1-186 Infantry Battalion in Southern Oregon that brought me back to SOU as the
ROTC Program Manager and Professor of Military Science.”

Can you tell us how you got this position and how your time as the ROTC Military Science Professor has been so far?

“I returned to SOU in July of 2022 as the Program Manager and Professor of Military Science to
help lead future cadets at SOU’s ROTC program. It’s been an awarding experience so far, I enjoy
working with the cadets, and it’s been fun working on the campus I was a student of and working
alongside people like my capstone professor. Watching how the ROTC program has grown in
the past ten years since I graduated has been amazing, transitioning from a tiny building on the
other side of campus to being fully integrated into campus life.”

Please explain to us a bit about the ROTC program for those unaware.

“The ROTC is a leadership development program for future Army officers. Students earn their
degree on campus while going through the rigors of our program to earn a commission in the
United States Army.”

What are the benefits of joining the ROTC program, and who qualifies to join the

“One of the biggest benefits is the scholarship opportunities ROTC provides that can couple
with other educational benefits that come with military service. To qualify for the program, students
have to be eligible for military service and seek a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Students are
required to be a full-time students at Southern Oregon University and have a minimum of 2.5
GPA or higher to be a part of ROTC. Captain Rokes also provided us with a flyer that goes over
the required courses to be a student in the ROTC program. These courses are also offered
toward a minor in Military Science. For example, in courses in physical training, cadets get up early in the morning and perform various military-style exercises. There are also 100 to 200-level military science courses that provide education in things such as military training, tactics,
history, and leadership, as well as a leadership lab. These courses provide a curriculum base to
shape cadets into becoming leaders and give them team-building skills required to become future leaders in the Army.”

Finally, we asked Stephanie Rokes where students can learn more about the ROTC program and
all its benefits to its cadets. Rokes directed us to SOU’s ROTC website as well
as for those that may be seeking even further details on the ROTC program and the
application for those interested in joining the program.

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