ROTC reigns, again
For second in three years, cadets compose court
Marcus Clem | editor-in-chief
Despite this year’s homecoming theme, the 2013 king and queen were crowned without having to participate in a swimsuit portion of the competition.
At the homecoming convocation, held Wednesday at Carnie Smith Stadium, Kristina Willis and John Fatkin became Gorilla royalty. Fatkin and Willis were sponsored by Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). This is the second time in three years that ROTC candidates have swept the competition.
“I think it’s a great honor and it shows the support that the program has here on campus,” Willis said. “I feel like we’re very involved with everything on campus and campus is realizing that.”
Willis, senior in international studies, spent three years with the Gorilla women’s basketball team.
“I decided not to play this year because of all my other commitments,” Willis said.
Her biggest commitment is to ROTC. She started as a freshman and her involvement has grown since. She graduated from both air assault school and airborne school.
“They were both so much fun,” Willis said. “Graduating assault school was a big accomplishment for me. I was the only woman, alongside about 200 men.”
To graduate, Willis had to rappel from helicopters. To complete airborne training she jumped from planes five times.
“I like camping, but skydiving is probably my favorite thing to do,” Willis said. “I’ve only done it once as a civilian, but my time at airborne school was amazing.”
Willis says she wasn’t too nervous during the queen announcement.
“I was getting excited while we were waiting for the announcement. I really enjoy both of the ladies that were called up before me,” Willis said. “I was really happy for them, and then when they called my name I was honestly very surprised and very happy.”
Her next challenge will be representing Pittsburg State for the upcoming year.
“I think it’s a great honor for us to be able to represent ROTC and the rest of campus,” Willis said. “The biggest thing is being a good role model because we were elected, or voted into this. The most important thing is representing Pitt State in a good way.”
Willis and Fatkin have participated in several Ranger Challenges, competitions in which cadets must negotiate a series of objectives.
Fatkin takes pride in ROTC and in the pride that Pitt State takes in it.
“The fact that the student body respect the military so much at this school is huge,” said Fatkin.
He is a senior in history and is also a yell leader for the Gorilla Cheer Squad. He says the squad’s performance was his main source of anxiety during the announcement.
“It was tough watching my team perform after being with them for so long. I never thought I’d get that nervous, because I was never that nervous being out there,” Fatkin said. “I was nervous during the announcement, but after the cheer squad performed, it wasn’t as bad.”