Meet a Tar Heel (ROTC): Andrew Romza
Meet Andrew Romza, Class of 2018
Major: Statistical and Operations Research
How did you decide to get involved with ROTC?
I actually didn’t come to college thinking that I was going to be in ROTC. I very much stumbled across it when I saw an advertisement for it in a student bulletin and thought it would be an interesting class. It wasn’t really until I started taking the classes at the Armory that I realized ROTC was much more than any one little paragraph could say. I really got invested in the program, and it became a lifestyle.
What is a day in the life of an ROTC cadet?
On any given week, you’re putting in 10-15 hours of work, which is great. It’s very fulfilling because you’re working with people who share the same passions. For example, I work with my peers in the operations office to plan events for ROTC. It’s very detailed and everything has to come together within the program in order for the cadets to get effective training to become better leaders, to go out into the army, and later into the civilian world to use the experience they gained here to help others and develop them into leaders as well.
What opportunities have you had with ROTC?
ROTC fills my summers. The summer after my sophomore year, I was given the opportunity to train in Mozambique with their military. But like many things in the army, it was not purely military training for that month. It was a week of that, and then a week of building gardens in a section of their capital. Then in the next week, I worked with the US Embassy to teach Mozambicans who have US Citizenship how to speak English.
ROTC is very eclectic. You can find yourself doing classwork one moment, and then going out and running with some cadets the other moment, then traveling all over the world. In the end, ROTC transforms you and makes you a better person. ROTC is the best conduit for developing leadership and developing others at the same time.
I really chose Carolina because of the quality of the education. The statistics department here is one of the best. For me, I got into a number of different schools that had good math and statistics programs, but Carolina just stuck out as as a very unique opportunity to learn both actuarial and optimization skills, of which other colleges only had one or the other.