Josh Rivers ’11 finds balance of civilian and military life in ROTC

Josh Rivers ’11 is one of six Dartmouth freshman in the college's ROTC program, one of the more robust in the Ivy League. With 16 students participating this term, the group is among the largest in the program’s recent history.

“When students come by to learn more it’s usually because they know a current cadet,” according to Levi Bennett, head of Dartmouth ROTC. Dartmouth students deserve the credit for the increase in numbers, says Bennett. “They’re proud of ROTC and are great ambassadors for it on campus."

Josh is one of those ambassadors. A top student, Rivers chose Dartmouth over offers from some of the nation’s best schools, including the United States Military Academy at West Point. “West Point offers a high quality education, no doubt, but I really listened to what Sergeant Major said about the benefits of experiencing both civilian and military life, and that at Dartmouth you can have a wonderful helping of both,” says Rivers. “So far, everything he said has been true.”

Like all first-year students, Rivers says he is still adjusting to balancing his responsibilities: classes in biology, economics, and Spanish; ROTC training and coursework (six hours a week); and work in a dining hall dish room (four hours a day, five days a week). But he says overall he’s enjoying the challenge, in part because of the support of the Dartmouth community. “I’ve never been happier to wake up at six in the morning to work out with my compatriots,” he says.

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