It was a bit of an unlikely marriage—Army ROTC and Zachary Raynor.
Coming to Wright State from the farming community of Jamestown, Raynor knew little about the military. But what he did know was that ROTC would pay for his college education.
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a college-based program to train students to become commissioned officers of the armed forces.
That first year for Raynor, now a junior international studies major, was a total learning process.
“Then I started to pick up a lot of things; I started to learn a lot,” he said. “Things like land navigation; also discipline, showing up on time, responsibilities, being where you’re supposed to be, having the equipment you need.”
Raynor said ROTC has made him more physically fit, given him structure, taught him how to work hard and given him leadership skills.
“It’s a great opportunity to really present yourself as a leader and to get more experiences in your life,” he said.
Through ROTC, Raynor went to Costa Rica as part of an Army program on cultural understanding and language proficiency. He also went to air assault school, where he rappelled out of a helicopter 90 feet off the ground.
“That was probably the coolest thing I’ve done,” he said. “It might at first seem challenging or overwhelming, but after you tackle it you feel better and productive.”
Raynor said his interest in international studies stems from his love of James Bond movies. After his time in the military, he sees himself overseas somehow connected to the shadowy world of espionage.
“I kind of want to work for the CIA or something like that,” he said.