ROTC saves cadets

Pentagon officials have said that with the National Guard and reserves to complement active personnel, they have more than enough troops to fight a war against Iraq

However, should America’s draft program be reenacted, FAMU’s ROTC cadets may be the safest people on campus.

Maj. Willie Jackson said FAMU’s 120 Army cadets have agreed to serve at least four years in the military after they finish school and therefore cannot be drafted.

Tarik Fulcher, 21, said dodging the draft is one of the reasons why “a good deal” of his fellow cadets joined ROTC in the first place, though they still have to serve in the military after graduation.

“So it’s not really dodging it, but more like putting it off,” said the junior economics student from Orlando.

Fulcher said he joined ROTC because of scholarship benefits that came with his contract.

Still, there are some people who may try to join the ROTC if a draft is enacted so they cannot be called to duty.

Jackson said that wouldn’t work because once the draft program is in effect, a “freeze” is placed on the program so that no one, especially draft-dodgers, can get in.

Corey Curtis, 19, a sophomore music education student from Hollywood, Fla. said he has other plans if the draft is activated.

“I’m going to move to Canada,” said Curtis, who has family members in the military who are currently overseas. “Nobody ever fights with Canada.”

Nick Harrell, 21, an army cadet from Miami, said singles-not college students-should be the first ones to worry if the draft is reenacted because they will be the first ones called upon.

“If you’re a college student you really don’t have anything to worry about,” said the senior nursing student.

Harrell said there is still a chance that ROTC cadets could be called into war, even though they are still going to school.

“If things get really, really bad and it looks like we’re going to lose, then we’ll probably serve about six to eight months,” Harrell said.

Robert Bryant, who is not an ROTC cadet, said he hopes things don’t get that dismal.

“Hopefully we can stop terrorists in their tracks before they bring the war over here,” said the 20-year old sophomore pharmacy student from Atlanta.

Jackson said that the government’s special intelligence units are always aware of anything that is going on overseas. He also said there is no certainty that the draft will actually go into effect.

“You shouldn’t worry about the draft,” Jackson said. “Our country is in good hands.”

Tanya Caldwell can be reached at