Army Reserve general encourages STEM studies for ROTC cadets

By Sgt. Salvatore Ottaviano | 99th Readiness Division | Nov. 2, 2018

BOSTON — Maj. Gen. Troy D. Kok, commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division, strongly encouraged science, technology, engineering and mathematics studies when he addressed Boston University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps on Oct. 20. 

Kok delivered remarks at BU’s 2018 Joint Service Pass-in-Review Ceremony, drawing from his military knowledge while emphasizing how important studies in STEM fields are on the road to success as an ROTC student and to the future of America’s Army Reserve. 

“There are many opportunities out there for officers with STEM backgrounds in the military,” Kok said as he addressed the students as well as their parents, families and friends. 

BU and its ROTC satellite schools are leaders in STEM studies and research, according to the university. Almost a quarter of BU’s Army cadets are pursuing degrees in STEM fields, and the number is likely similar for its sister programs. 

“The Army Reserve needs Soldiers who can perform in jobs and careers that require specialized skills, as well as abilities in analytical thinking and an aptitude in problem-solving,” Kok said. 

Kok was joined by BU President Dr. Robert A. Brown, BU Vice President and Chief of Staff Douglas Sears, and Lt. Col. Ben Ferguson, BU department chair of military science, for the inspection of the troops. 

“We’re enabling the students to have the proper training physically and in their areas of study,” Sears said. “It will help keep an increase in the commissioning rate.” 

STEM is increasingly required in the financial services field. Today, two-thirds of jobs in banking and finance require extensive math and technology skills, and over the next 10 years those types of positions will generate more than three-quarters of projected job growth, according to industry research. 

“I am studying as a finance officer,” said Reed Kimzey, an Army ROTC senior and cadet first sergeant at BU. Kimzey explained he is learning the math skills needed to pursue his Army career path goals. “BU is the most prestigious of all of the schools I applied for and it has really good leadership. As a three-year college scholarship winner, I’m studying what I want.” 

The Army offers military science careers in many different areas such as medical, clinical and environmental. Technology jobs are available across many fields including communications and intelligence, as well as hands-on training in military engineering jobs ranging from technical and environmental to combat. Army math jobs are found in several fields including finance, intelligence and logistics. 

“I wanted to contribute to our country and do what I can to serve in the military,” added Kimzey, a Gladwyn, Pennsylvania, native.