Originally from Puerto Rico, Natalia Sotomayor moved to Lawton, Oklahoma five years ago and graduated from Cache High School. She now attends school at the University of Oklahoma.

“We moved to Lawton because my stepdad got a job at Fort Sill as a doctor for the Veterans Administration. I have always been interested in joining the U.S. Army, so I realized that ROTC was the best option for me because it provided me the opportunity to get an education and pursue my military career. I chose OU because it has a good nursing program, and I liked the campus,” said Sotomayor. “I'm a nursing major. This is my second semester in nursing school.”

The ROTC program at Oklahoma has given Sotomayor the opportunity to experience military training while attending school. While serving as a cadet with the ROTC, Sotomayor has enjoyed the activities ROTC is involved in on and off campus.

“The extracurricular activities that OU ROTC offers are what I enjoy the most. I have been able to participate in many events like the Army 10 miler race in Washington DC, Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico, and Color Guard,” said Sotomayor.

“We have physical training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 0600-0700. Mondays are running days. We usually do either sprints or long-distance runs. On Wednesday, we do a ruck march for at least six miles with at least 35-pounds in our rucks. On Fridays, we do circuits usually consisting of deadlifts, hand-release push-ups, kettlebell swings, sprints, and pull-ups.”

Sotomayor plans to commission once she has graduated from the University of Oklahoma and plans to continue her military service as an officer in the United States Army. Sotomayor offers this advice to future cadets or anyone considering the ROTC program at Oklahoma.

“I would advise them to join the ROTC program and try it out to see if it is something they'll enjoy. For me, joining ROTC has been one of the best decisions of my life. I have had the opportunity to participate in many events and learn how to be a great leader,” said Sotomayor.