There appears to be an echo. Every time a command is yelled, it is yelled back.
The Corban students doing push-ups and sit-ups behind Farrar don’t seem to be fazed however. For them, this noisy 6 a.m. workout is routine. After a closing run, they pray and separate, ready to start their day.
These students are part of the ROTC program, short for Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Corban’s program includes five cadets: three men and two women.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the military since I was young,” Cadet Kevin Cook said. “I felt that the ROTC program was the best route to becoming an officer and getting my academics done.”
ROTC is one of the two ways to become an officer in the military, as officers are required to have a bachelor’s degree and attend an officer school, such as West Point. Those who simply enlist cannot become officers unless they are recommended by their commanding officer.
“In a business, the officers would be like management, and the employees would be enlisted,” Cadet Kyle Heinz said. “When I graduate, I will be a second lieutenant, so that would be like an assistant manager.”
Corban’s ROTC program is part of Oregon State University’s ROTC program, nicknamed the “West Point of the West.” Cadets go to OSU for field training once a term, or three times a year.
According to the organization’s Web site, the program began when President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Defense Act of 1916. This nationwide program now serves as the primary source of commissioning for U.S. Army officers.
Through OSU’s program, students can choose from five schools. The primary reason for choosing Corban, these three say, is the “Corban Experience.”
“I really felt that this is where God wanted me to come,” Cook said. “Ultimately I felt that this is where I could grow the best.”
Misty DeMasters has a similar story. “The first time I came to Corban, I loved it,” she said. “The Christian atmosphere was what I needed not growing up in a Chrstian home.”
The government pays tuition for ROTC cadets, with Corban itself granting them free room and board. The trade-off, however, is serving in the Army. The general rule of thumb is for every year of paid school, cadets must serve two in the military, according to Cook.
Besides their “PT” three mornings a week, they also drive to Corvallis on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for training.
OSU’s program is one of the best in the country, Cook said. “We have a really good cadre that care about their cadets. They make sure we know what we need to know.”
With more than 20,000 cadets currently enrolled across America, the nationwide program is a diverse group.
One of the women who compose 20 percent of the program, Misty DeMasters said, “The best thing about the program is that I have been challenged in many different ways which I wouldn’t have been challenged otherwise.” In the future, she continued, “I can be in a leadership position and have, hopefully, a positive and Christian influence in the Army.”
The current authority also appreciates the cadets’ Christian principles. Lt. Col. Paul Ashcraft, Professor of Military Science for the OSU program, said that the Corban cadets are a valuable part of the program.
“All have very high moral standards that naturally fall right in line with the Army values,” he said.
“It helps to grow you in maturity and understnading who you are,” said Heinz. The Corban Cadets have a vision for their purpose in the military and in God’s plan for the world. “I wanted to do something with my life that would make a difference, and God drew me towards the military,” said Misty DeMasters.
“It’s not for everybody that’s for sure,” said Heinz, “but at the same time, it could be for more people than you would think.”