DLSU student owes to ROTC her more disciplined, patriotic self

A student from the De La Salle University entered the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) mainly for love of adventure.

But her plan to just try “something new” led her to discover a new part of herself that she is really proud of.

Private First-Class Maxine Keeler, who is taking up Behavioral Science Major in Organizational and Social Systems Development at the De La Salle University, said she had always looked up to the military. So when she had the chance to acquire the same kind of training, she picked ROTC for her National Service Training Program (NSTP).

“At first I was honestly afraid of what I got myself into. My whole life as a civilian had to change the moment I started training,” she said in an interview.

Keeler said her parents did not initially want her undergoing training to be a reservist since “they did not like it in their time,” but her curiosity and admiration for the soldier's work pushed her to join.

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She also asked a few colleagues what to expect in the ROTC so she knew then that she would have a hard time. She said the training, albeit difficult, was fun and fulfilling.

“When I started (undergoing) training, I first thought, 'Oh my god what did I get myself into?' But that thought slowly turned into 'Oh my god this was so worth it',” she added.

As a college freshman, she developed a liking in the program and pursued the Cadet Officer Candidate Course (COCC) to become an officer even though it meant going through harder training.

“All our hard work from physical training early in the morning, reporting in our office for lectures and learning how to do corps staff work, to commanding cadets in the field, has contributed so much to the formation of my character,” Keeler said.

“Thankfully, I had my officers, training staff and DLSU personnel to guide me and my batchmates into becoming the snappy officers we are today. All that I’ve learned in training has helped me become more motivated and hardworking in other aspects of my life,” she added.

Her dedication was also noticed by her unit commandant, Col. Nestor Narag, Jr., and recommended her in the shortlist of Filipino delegates who were sent to Guam, USA for the Cultural and Leadership Program (CULP) held November 17 to 24 this year.

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