Involvement in an ROTC program can lead to many things—a highly-developed sense of leadership, a keen understanding of military operations, and a career. For cadet Ethan Cornwell, IUPUI’s ROTC program is preparing him for his chosen profession as an ER doctor.

“My goal is to attend IU Medical School and serve my time in the Army as a doctor,” he says.

Cornwell says that IUPUI “is a great school for anyone interested in medicine,” adding, “It’s situated around several large hospitals and has an outstanding medical school. IUPUI also has plenty of research opportunities to get involved with. All of this gives me a better chance of becoming a more successful student and fulfilling my goals of becoming an Army physician.”

The cadet also has garnered plenty of military knowledge through his time with the program. Cornwell has taken a ride in a Blackhawk helicopter, shot M16s, and conquered a rappel tower.

“The leadership ability I gain through ROTC will spill over into my civilian career as I pursue medicine.”

Cornwell owes much of the inspiration around his career path to Jerry Barker, IUPUI’s ROTC recruiting operations officer.

“Mr. Barker mapped out the places I could go within the military. He showed me that there was always a way I could get where I wanted to be as long as I was willing to put in the work. The military gives you all the means to succeed—you just have to be willing to reach out and take them.”