Trumpore and Barrier receive full ROTC scholarships

Susan EspirituSouth Knox

Sam Trumpore and Zach Barrier, seniors at South-Doyle High School, received full Army ROTC scholarships and both have chosen to attend Carson-Newman University before becoming officers in the United States Army.

Each gave me a look into their journey to such a remarkable accomplishment and their future aspirations.

Sam says he was introduced to Junior ROTC through his older brother who knew he had always had an interest in the military.

Sam said he liked that it taught young people to be better citizens and he says he was instantly hooked on the paramilitary environment.

Around the time he started JROTC, Sam decided becoming a commissioned officer would be the path he’d be taking to serve the country.

“I found success in leading people my age through the Scouting program, KFD explorer program, and of course in ROTC where I restarted the school rifle team after Covid. I loved leading from the front, of course, but the part that really pushed me to want to commission was helping others. I want to help others exceed their own expectations; do things they never knew they could do. ROTC is simply the path I’ve chosen to take to accomplish this goal.”

Sam says his future goals are quite simple. If given the opportunity by the Army, he will go to law school with the hopes of helping people legally after the military. However, while in the military, he wants to focus on self-improvement through going to ranger school or special forces selection.

Sam has some great advice for young people and for some of us old people as well: “Embrace the suck. No matter what you do in life, some parts of things are just going to suck. It’s important to have the discipline required to get through that suck. A victim mindset will get you nowhere.”

Zach Barrier chose to join the JROTC for different reasons. He gives first credit and inspiration to his dad, David Barrier, who was a JROTC cadet and later joined the Air Force after high school.

Second, Zach credits his family history of military service, ranging from the Revolutionary War all the way to the Vietnam War as a catalyst for joining the ROTC.

A third motivation came from the ROTC involvement with the community.

“I truly feel like my cadets and I have been able to make a huge impact on our community, including our flag retirement ceremony that set a national JROTC record with 6,132 flags retired in 2021. With that, I began to realize what ROTC could do for me and my family.”

One of Zach’s biggest goals was to graduate from college with as little debt as possible and he says he is more than delighted and excited that neither he nor his family will have to spend any funds on a college education.

Zach says his No. 1 goal in life is to provide comfortably for a family and he believes this opportunity will allow him to take care of them no matter what life throws at them.

His advice to those looking at joining JROTC: “Take the opportunity. It will build you not only into a better citizen, a better person, but give you skills to be a leader at a young age. Not only that, but you will have opportunities to make new friends and be part of something bigger than yourself. ”

Both young men remind others to consider JROTC or ROTC as a possibility to pay for your education at the next level and pave a way to a future.

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