College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

MSE student appreciates lessons from ROTC and engineering

Each summer, juniors in Army ROTC from around the nation participate in a Leadership Development and Assessment Course where they are evaluated on different leadership attributes. Trenton Fredrickson, now a senior in materials engineering, traveled to Fort Lewis, Washington, to endure a physical fitness test, obstacle course, day/night land navigation scenario, first-aid training, gas chamber day, and six days of squad- and patrol-size tactical operations. Completing the course is required for cadets to be commissioned a second lieutenant.

Fredrickson was named the top cadet of nearly 500 in the 7th Regiment. He will graduate in May 2012 and wants to join the Infantry branch of the Army.

“Being named the top cadet in my regiment was a true honor,” he says. “ I used all the amazing training I got from the cadre and fellow cadets of our Army ROTC program and was also able to utilize the critical thinking skills I’ve honed in my demanding engineering curriculum. Many of our cadets did outstanding and that is why we were named the top program in our Brigade of around 40 schools.”

Fredrickson says he participates in ROTC because he has a strong desire to serve his country and that being in the program allows him to earn a college degree in the process of training to lead troops one day.

“I have taken a lot from ROTC but most of all I’ve gained resilience and personal drive,” he says. “In my time at Iowa State and in ROTC, I’ve learned that almost nothing works out exactly how you plan but being able to bounce back and redirect your effort allows you to keep driving forward to accomplish your goals.”