OSU ROTC cadets spend their summer with the U.S. government

Fourth-year Construction Engineering Management Major and AROTC intern Gabrielle Sanchez (she/her) poses for a photo in Corvallis on Nov. 3, 2023.
Fourth-year Construction Engineering Management Major and AROTC intern Gabrielle Sanchez (she/her) poses for a photo in Corvallis on Nov. 3, 2023.
Morgan Barnaby

United States military officers are required to have the skills to help lead and overcome obstacles, sometimes where lives could be at stake.

The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is a college program that turns cadets into officers, in part by developing their leadership skills and providing them opportunities to sharpen them.

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadet Zachary Dungey, says that the ROTC program is the greatest leadership course that he’s been a part of, even when compared to his high school leadership course.

“I was an elected (member) of my high school’s leadership for four years,” Dungey said. “And ROTC is well beyond that. The leadership skills that you develop in ROTC are unmatched.”

While there are many members in the ROTC program at Oregon State University, three members got a chance to intern through the United States Army Cadet Command over the summer: Gustavo Narvaez, Gabrielle Sanchez and Zachary Dungey.

Each of these cadets went to different locations and experienced different aspects of operation in the United States government.

Narvaez joined the military right out of high school.

Currently, Narvaez is a fourth-year public health major and is currently ranked Military Science Level IV in the ROTC program.

A Military Science Level correlates with the college year of the student. For example, MSL I would mean freshman, MSL II would mean sophomore and so on.

Narvaez completed an internship with the Defence Threat Reduction Agency to learn more about the U.S. Strategic Nuclear Deterrence Policy.

Here, he traveled to locations and places like Washington D.C. and the Pentagon, talking to political leaders and key military personnel to inquire more about nuclear deterrence and global policy.

“We in ROTC are focused on a tactical level and platoon level, which has like 40 people,” Narvaez said. “So you are focused on small interpersonal stuff. But during the internship, you realize the strategic level of things.”

After Narvaez graduates, he hopes to go back as an active duty officer for medical service.

Sanchez was born when her parents were very young, so she spent most of her youth with her grandparents in Sacramento – both of whom cared a lot about education.

Her grandparents enrolled her into a criminal justice academy instead of traditional high school. Due to this, she was surrounded by the military and was always driven to a leadership role.

Originally, Sanchez wanted to go to the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York. However, she didn’t feel like she belonged in the community there.

Furthermore, since she didn’t want to go to college in California, she decided to look for a school in Oregon because she had family here and enjoyed the nature of the state.

Sanchez decided on two schools: University of Oregon or OSU.

Although her first choice was UO, someone from the ROTC program at OSU reached out to her and influenced her decision to attend the university.

Fast forward to today, Sanchez is a fourth-year construction engineering management major at OSU, and is MSL III in the ROTC program.

Over the summer, she interned with a branch of the army dedicated to environmental sustainability called the Army Corps of Engineers.

Sanchez shadowed many different engineers throughout the program to experience their different perspectives.

“When we went to the Fargo District, they were building a dam inlet structure which is a billion-dollar project.” Sanchez said. “And so you have this captain in the army overseeing it as a project manager. It just seemed to be exactly what I’m doing now as a staff officer, and as well as what I’m learning in construction engineering.”

Dungey didn’t know what to do when he graduated from high school since he didn’t get into the Coast Guard Academy due to an elbow injury.

Since his dream has always been flying helicopters, his next best option was the military. So he enlisted in the National Guard right out of high school.

During his time at the National Guard, one of Dungey’s mentors told him that to become a pilot he would first need to go through the ROTC program and become an officer.

Today, Dungey is now at OSU as a fourth-year business administration major and ranked MSL IV with the ROTC.

Dungey interned with the National Security Agency over the summer, a U.S. Department of Defense combat support agency and a part of the U.S. Intelligence Community, to learn about finance enterprise risk management.

He was able to look at the “fintech” that was being used by large corporations and how artificial intelligence is going to change the technology that is currently being used.

According to Investopedia, “Financial technology (better known as fintech) is used to describe new technology that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services.”

“I learned how connected the world financial market is and then how the US protects their financial assets and how well those are protected,” Dungey said.

Dungey is set to graduate this June and go back to the National Guard as an officer, with plans of going to pilot school in August.

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    Shannon StockebrandNov 21, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    An Amazing young man Mr. Dungey . Follow your dreams!
    All these young people are Amazing!!