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Published: Thursday, 16 Nov 2017
Author: VIPP
Department: Visiting International Professional Program

On November 9th, just before Veterans Day, the Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP) at Michigan State University (MSU) visited MSU Spartan Battalion, Army ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps). VIPP's Assistant Director Dr. Mina Shin arranged a visit for Mr. Jaehan Lee, one of VIPP's participants. Lee is a Korean Army Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) as well as a professor at Korea National Defense University. He was selected by his university to come to MSU to study organizational leadership. VIPP was greeted by Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Jason DeGeorge who is in charge of MSU ROTC and a Chairperson in the Department of Military Science at MSU. South Korea and US armies have been strong allies since the end of World War II. The US Military played an instrumental role in establishing the Korean Military. It was an insightful day to talk about the long history of alliance and similarities and differences in two systems.

Korean Army LTC Jaehan Lee poses with MSU ROTC LTC DeGeorge. VIPP is thankful for his time and great hospitality.

LTC DeGeorge gave a presentation on the history, structure, and program offerings of MSU ROTC. Started in the 1880's, MSU ROTC currently has 205 enrolled students, 21% of whom are female. ROTC trains young men and women as reserve officers while they are enrolled as full-time college students. 70% of the ROTC's current cadets are attending school on scholarships. Cadets don't need to study Military Science to be a part of ROTC either; cadet majors range from accounting to zoology. ROTC programs across the nation produce roughly 5,000 newly graduated cadets a year, compared to West Point Military Academy which produces roughly 3,000. VIPP was impressed by the quality and successful history of MSU ROTC program. Best captured by its motto "Training to Lead," the goal of MSU ROTC is not only to produce leaders for the military, but also for civilian community. With such dedicated instructors and well organized programs, no wonder why MSU ROTC is one of the best in the Midwest region.

LTC DeGeorge and LTC Jaehan Lee discussed the differences and similarities between US ROTC and Korean ROTC programs. 

LTC Jaehan Lee and Dr. Mina Shin had a chance to visit current class sessions and interacted with cadets. In the senior class, LTC Jaehan Lee gave a short speech on his military background and learning goals at MSU, and gave praise to the U.S. military and MSU ROTC Program.  Cadets asked excellent questions about the Korean military and current situation in Korean peninsula.

Korean Army LTC Jaehan Lee gives a short speech to MSU ROTC cadets in senior class.

VIPP was honored to be invited to MSU ROTC program. We thank LTC DeGeorge and all instructors and cadets we met for insightful discussion. More importantly, in observation of Veterans Day, we thank all of our current and past service men and women who served for the country.

LTC Jaehan Lee and Dr. Mina Shin from VIPP posed with LTC DeGeorge and the class of graduating cadets in MSU ROTC.