When most college students are asleep, Madeline Messare ’22 and her fellow ROTC cadets are already well into their morning workout.

Starting her day at 5 a.m., Messare—a dual major in forensic science and psychology at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences—thrives on the challenges being a cadet presents. “I love the structure of it, the mental and physical challenge that makes accomplishing a goal extremely rewarding. I am proud to wear the uniform because it symbolizes being a part of something bigger than myself,” she says.

Leadership Training in the ROTC

Messare was somewhat of a late entry into the Army ROTC, joining at the start of her junior year after a discussion with her aunt and uncle, both lieutenant colonels in the U.S. Army.

In June, she attended ROTC Cadet Advanced Camp—a 38-day training event that assesses a cadet’s ability to demonstrate proficiency in basic officer leadership tasks. Throughout the five phases of the camp, cadets complete lessons and activities that include physical training, team building, land navigation, rifle marksmanship, rappelling, battle drills and more.

Making a Difference in the Military

Messare was interested in law enforcement as a young child, and she is now is focusing her efforts on studying for the LSAT and choosing a law school to attend. Her dream is to join the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG Corps) to advocate for people who are affected by the shortcomings of military law.

“There are so many changes currently happening within military law, and I want to be a part of these reforms,” she says. “I have learned that I want to advocate for Special Victims, so individuals who feel powerless do not get marginalized within the system.”