Cadet finds success in ROTC program

Senior Josie Lott works at a desk in the Willingham Hall Annex ROTC office. Lott has earned several honors and awards during her time in ROTC.

Among the thousands of cadets in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, senior Josie Lott has become part of the top percentage.

Lott is ranked as a Distinguished Military Graduate in her UNA graduating class, which places her in the top 20 percent of all ROTC graduates in the U.S.

Lott is also the only female in her graduating UNA unit to receive DMG ranking.

Jose Atencio, ROTC recruiting operations officer, said Lott is one of the only females in recent years to receive the DMG ranking in the UNA program.

“It is obviously a men-dominated world, so I think that (her score) definitely opens the eyes of females,” said sophomore cadet Mary Sturtevant. “(She) motivates me more to strive harder.”

To acquire the DMG rank, seniors must pass different criteria, including a certain number of Order of Merit points, keeping a high GPA, scoring well on the Army Physical Fitness Test and participation in extracurricular activities.

“The Army looks at all of the things that you do on top of what is minimally required,” Lott said.

Receiving the rank of DMG increases the chance of cadets getting their pick of job and duty station after graduation.

Lott said she hopes to be stationed in Germany after graduating because of its central location in Europe for traveling.

She also received an Excellent score in advanced camp last summer, being the only woman to do so. This is the second-highest score cadets can place in the camp, behind Outstanding.

The camp, which is required for all juniors in the ROTC in order to become second lieutenants, is at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Lott said despite the hard times she endured, including staying out in the field for 20 straight days, it is nothing compared to what others face in the military.

“I think (the camp) is a small price to pay to be commissioned as a second lieutenant,” she said. “It is an experience that they put you through to see how you perform under stress.”

Other awards Lott has received include Superior Cadet Decoration Award, which required her to place in the top 10 percent of her class academically, as well as the USAA Spirit Award and Cadet of the Year.

Lott said one of the awards she is most proud of is a challenge coin she received for outstanding performance in a statewide field training exercise held at Fort McClellan.

Sturtevant said Lott’s rankings do not surprise her, as she is involved with the ROTC as much as possible.

“She is like a mentor,” she said. “She is always involved with the program, makes sure to get everything done in a timely manner so that it can be pushed out to the rest of the battalion (and) is very dependable and responsible.”

Atencio said she impressed him upon entering the program after transferring from Bevill State Community College.

“She was one of those quality cadets that we (could) see in scholarly, athletic and leadership abilities,” he said.

Atencio said some of her best attributes are leadership and loyalty.

“Any commander I think will be pleased to have her as a platoon leader, because they will need someone with spirit,” he said. “As she moves up in rank, I think that she will do well in command and in leading others.”

Lott said she sometimes ponders whether or not she would go back and change moments in her life.

“There (are) things I would want to change, but, on the other side, if I had not have done them, I probably would not be where I am now,” she said.