EMU recognized for ROTC program

Members of the EMU ROTC stand in formation outside of the ROTC tower.

Eastern Michigan University has been named a Military Friendly School for 2010 by “GI Jobs” magazine.

This honor puts EMU in the top 15% of all colleges, universities and trade schools across the United States, and will be included in the magazine’s “Guide to Military Friendly Schools” published this month.

“Basically, it’s all in the name,” said Director of Veterans Services Shaftone Dunklin. “Eastern does its best to ease the transition from military to college. We credit from the military for college credit.”

The list was decided from responses to an online survey that included questions about tuition costs, scholarships for military students and whether there are any veteran clubs or associations among numerous other qualifications.

“I began my transition [from military to civilian life] at another school,” said junior and Marine Corps veteran Jesse Woodiel. “Here, my certification was done promptly and faster than anywhere else. I was welcomed by the staff and asked if I wanted to join the Student Veterans of America Club.”

Not only does EMU work with former members of the military, but also with those who want to pursue a military career after college through their ROTC program.

“I joined ROTC at Eastern because it provided the chance to get college done, have a guaranteed career afterwards and fund it all,” said freshman and ROTC member Michael Pastula. “Everyone has treated me like a normal student, even while in uniform.”

Not only does the program provide the benefits of getting a degree without worrying about tuition, but it creates opportunities after graduation as well.

“Eastern is known for having a good ROTC program,” Pastula said. “I’ll enter the army as an officer, so I’ll be above the enlisted people, as a 2nd lieutenant.”

Not only does EMU go above and beyond the call of duty to help veterans become adjusted to civilian life, as well as provide them with on campus facilities and financial aid, they also train the faculty so even the professors will be military friendly.

“On September 22, there’s a panel called ‘Invisible Wounds’ all about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on campus,” Woodiel said. “It’s to help faculty understand what military students have to go through, and what they can do to accommodate the speakers will be there from the VA, health groups and current veterans. It’s a very helpful thing, and I’m happy to see it.”

It’s things like Invisible Wounds and the ROTC program that help put EMU on the map for military students.

“Not all schools fall into the category of doing what we do,” Dunklin said. “Eastern already has the reputation of being a good school, and the veterans really help publicize Eastern and all seem to be very happy here, which helps attract students.”

For those who have already had the benefit of working with EMU’s veteran services, the title of “Military Friendly Campus” puts a name on what has already been established.

“Eastern is a very veteran friendly campus,” Woodiel said. “It’s the least that veterans can expect, and I’m happy that EMU is on the forefront of helping these veterans come back and adjust.”

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