STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - ROTC Cadets Charles Deem and Craig Overholt climbed the campus rappelling tower early Monday morning, just to zip right back down. They are climbing a career ladder through the Army's Green to Gold program. It turns enlisted soldiers into college students to make them future officers.
"It gives me the chance to further my career, get my degree at the same time. it's a great opportunity, glad i took the Army up on it," said Deem, a 33-year-old Staff Sargent.
"It's definitely more challenging than i thought it would be. you just have to re-prioritize, shifting your focus. instead of spending time on your soldiers in training, you're shifting your focus and energy on your school work," added SSG Overholt, age 25.
Both are ranked nationally among ROTC cadets. In fact Overholt is # 21 and Deem is #260 among tens of thousands of students. In early November, they both were honored with national scholarships from the Maude Foundation.
"It is a scholarship to honor their husband and father who was killed in 9-11, very gracious family. it was an honor just to be there," Overholt noted.
GSU's ROTC commander said serve as leaders and mentors to younger cadets.
"If the army were to direct me to deploy today to a combat environment and told me i could pick my team, i'd pick these two, commission them in some significant capacity because they have what it takes," assured Lt. Colonel George Frederick.
Their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and their aptitude to lead their team earns these future officers a WTOC Military Salute.