EDITORIAL - ROTC to give mental strength? Help prevent suicides?

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - ROTC to give mental strength? Help prevent suicides?

In pushing for the revival of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the program can help reduce mental health issues among the youth by providing them with practical skills and making them mentally resilient to difficult situations.

“It will create experiences, like ‘why am I complaining when others have it worse’,” Galvez said during a hearing on bills seeking to reinstate the ROTC program before members of the Senate.

Not to be outdone, Senator Ronald dela Rosa, chairman of the defense committee, said the ROTC program could “help the youth develop mental fortitude and possibly reduce incidents of suicide.”

“Your attitude development, tolerance level (against problems) goes up and not commit suicide,” Dela Rosa said in a report in Philstar.com.

With respect to both men, Galvez and Dela Rosa both underwent rigorous military training so they cannot be blamed if this is the only way they can see how youths will be molded better or be stopped from taking or trying to take their own lives.

However, it’s not just as simple as asking someone to act like a soldier and expecting him to behave like one, with the attendant disciplinary actions and such.

Being resilient and having mental strength may have a little to do with ROTC. But just that, a little. Both Galvez and Dela Rosa lived the regimented life of a military cadet 24/7 before earning their stripes. What they know now was drilled into their heads every minute of the day.

In case they didn’t realize, ROTC is just a subject students are exposed to only a few hours a week.

Also concerning is what Galvez seems to expect will happen to cadets who will take ROTC. Is he expecting them to be bombarded with difficult situations and be made to suffer to the extent that they will no longer complain because others are not complaining as well?

Again, we are not against ROTC per se. As mentioned in a previous editorial we are for implementing it correctly, teaching what cadets can actually do when faced with the possibility of warfare, and not just be parade pretty and be gophers and punching bags for cadet officers.

We are against enforcing a curriculum that has become obsolete. As it stands right now, the ROTC curriculum is outdated and riddled with corrupt practices.

The same curriculum that has been taught will not make more patriotic students or youths with mental fortitude.


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