During the six-day Annual Training of 4-414 (SROTC) in January at Fort Carson, Colo., Maj. Jonathan Davis shared his experiences serving with his unit.
That is correct, 4-414 only requires unit members to attend a six-day Annual Training (AT). Unit members use their remaining AT days instructing and supporting their local University Army Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps departments as Assistant Professors of Military Science.
Davis hadn’t always been with the 4-414th. Prior to joining, he received an email from a unit Strength Manager stating a position was open and he decided to reply and learn more. Soon he connected with the PMS, Professor of Military Science, a Lt. Col. They met for an interview, and after determining it was a good fit, he was transferred to the unit.
Positions within 4-414 are considered “interview-only”. NCO’s and Officers are not allowed to just transfer if there is a vacant slot. PMS’s at Universities have the option to interview and reject candidates if they do not feel the Soldier is the best person to train and mentor future Army leaders.
Davis’s first assignment was with the Drake University ROTC department in Des Moines, Iowa but in 2019, his full-time job as a Government Employee led him to move to Wichita, Kansas. As it happened, Wichita State University had started up an ROTC program that fall, so he was able to join their staff as an Assistant Professor of Military Science and bring his experiences from Drake University.
As an Assistant Professor of Military Science, Davis instructed MS1 and MS2 courses – Military Science 1 is for Freshman, and Military Science 2 is for Sophomores. The Cadets also attend Field Training Exercises (FTX’s) twice a year. Since 4-414 only holds a six-day Annual Training event, members like Maj. Davis uses their eight remaining AT days training Cadets and supporting the full-time ROTC staff at these FTX’s.
Many APMS’s state this is one of the most flexible Reserve positions the Army has to offer. First, 4-414 SROTC and its sister BN 4-413 SROTC support every Army SROTC nation-wide. When Davis moved for his job from Iowa to Kansas, he was able to stay in his unit and continue to serve close to his new home. Secondly, an APMS can either teach the classes that best align with their civilian job, or in some cases, an APMS can have the University move the class time to best fit their schedule. An APMS can teach and mentor Cadets in many of the events Cadets participate in – Drill Team, Ranger Challenge, PT, Labs, FTX’s, and much more.