Fight Against ISIS: One ROTC Student’s Perspective

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BY KOBI AZOULAY
Staff Writer

Junior Cody Roberts is not your average student at Salisbury University.

Roberts enlisted into the Army Reserve right out of high school while he was going to community college and now is a part of SU’s Reserve Officers Training Corps program in order to become an officer in the military after he graduates. If all goes according to plan, he will become a Second Lieutenant in the army.

When he was younger, Roberts wanted to be a police officer, following in the footsteps of his father who was an officer in Baltimore County.

As he became older though, he realized he wanted to help his country, but on a much larger scale.

“I joined the army in order to serve the country and ensure justice for the world through America’s version of justice,” Roberts said.

Roberts began his military career in 2012 when he went to basic combat training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, from which he graduated with honors.

He then went on to advanced individual training as a carpentry and masonry specialist at Fort Gulfport, Mississippi, where he also graduated with honors.

Roberts has served for the 358th Engineering Company of the United States Army Reserves for the past three years.

Roberts says he owes a lot of his personal growth to his time in the military.

“My past three years with this unit have been very influential to my development as a soldier and as a leader,” he said. “My time serving in the military has emboldened me to reach far with my career goals, including my choice to leave behind the life of an enlisted soldier and pursue that of a commissioned officer.”

Roberts is a political science major at SU and has no shortage of political opinions, especially where the military is concerned

“Personally, I think the Iraq war was a bit of a fraudulent event,” he said.

Roberts went on to explain that American political officials used false accusations that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein being involved with Al-Qaeda in order to start the war in the first place.

Despite the fraudulent beginning to the war, he praises the fact that the United States took Saddam Hussein out of power; but, he does not agree with how America left the country after the war ended.

“When we left, we didn’t leave them the proper tools to maintain democracy,” Roberts said. “It sort of fell into shambles, leading to today’s example that is ISIS, controlling most of Northern and Western Iraq.”

Roberts believes that ISIS could plan an attack against United States soil, as well.

“The international community needs to place ISIS high on their list of priorities,” he said. “How much time will it take for the group to plan, rehearse and execute an act of terror on U.S. soil? I don’t want the answer of that question to be found out, because that would mean that the actions of the international community were not enough to stop the spread of violence.

President Barack Obama submitted a draft of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force to congress in early February.  This means that military action more than the airstrikes that began towards the end of 2014 would be put into place, although Obama assured the country he did not want any boots on the ground.

There is bipartisan support for the measure, but the degree of power that the president should receive is still a contentious topic among lawmakers. Although a vote has not been held yet, the airstrikes against ISIS continue.

Although Roberts agrees with using military intervention to stop ISIS, he does not agree with Obama ordering airstrikes without congressional approval.

“While we are still waiting on congressional approval, we should help the coalition of states [fighting ISIS] by giving them supplies and sending in some of our troops, but only in a training role to support the forces that are already there.”

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