New scholarship and military career opportunities are coming to UH Manoa.
The school and the U.S. Navy have announced plans to launch a Reserve Officer Training Corps — or ROTC program — and even more opportunities are yet to come.
The Navy joins the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force ROTC programs — operating successfully for many years on the lower campus.
Ron Cambra, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Studies, says, “It operates very similar, each of the programs, students basically apply to get into the program. If they’re accepted into whichever of the ROTC programs they select, they go through a process of interviews and so forth, there’s scholarship money obviously, involved, too.”
In exchange for the paid schooling, graduates commit to a term of military service.
Cambra notes that many Hawaii families have a legacy of military service — and that the expanded ROTC programs could help younger generations carry on that tradition.
“And so they not only graduate, but they get commissioned into the branch of service that they’ve selected.” (Erika) “As an officer.” (Ron Cambra) “As an officer.”
Now that Navy ROTC is coming to UH Manoa, Cambra says one more is in the works.
“Earlier this summer, our president and the Commander of the Coast Guard signed an agreement to offer Coast Guard scholarships here on campus.”
Much work has to be done to build both programs, and renovate some lower campus facilities.
Cambra says, “If all goes as we hope it will, it would not be impossible for us to have perhaps the first incoming (NROTC) freshmen class maybe in about two years.”
High schools around the state offer Junior ROTC programs. Army JROTC at 16; Air Force JROTC at four; Navy JROTC at three, and the U.S. Marine Corps at one.
Army and Air force have been the only college-level options at UH, until this announcement.
Cambra says, “Both Air Force and Army have been commendated by their commands as being really solid programs, so we think Navy’s got a little challenge to catch up with the others. And I’m sure they will.”