Words matter

I was at one of the freshman orientation sessions at SUNY Potsdam this week and a couple of interactions with attendees got me thinking about a blog post that needed to be written.

Clinton Community College

I was speaking to a parent and she asked me how long I had been a recruiter at Clarkson.  I have always been sensitive about being called a recruiter.  I am not a recruiter.  I prefer the title Enrollment Officer, and the common title for my job in Cadet Command is Recruiting Operations Officer or ROO.  Why am I so sensitive?  If you are talking to a recruiter typically you are exploring enlistment.  The service I provide is to help college students enroll in Army ROTC class and take the first step on one of the paths to Officership.  I have nothing against recruiters, but they have a different motive and agenda than I do.

The other interaction I had was with an incoming freshman.  She asked me how she could JOIN Army ROTC.  I corrected her by explaining that she wasn’t joining, she was enrolling in a class.  I know some people would argue that it’s just semantics, but I would contend that you don’t join an english lit class, you enroll in the class.  You don’t join calculus class, you enroll in the class.  Yes you are joining the organization that is the Golden Knight Battalion, but I usually want you to enroll in a class before you take the leap that is JOINING the Army.  Once you sign that contract, or at least make the commitment that you are working towards a contract,  I feel more comfortable saying that you have enrolled in Army ROTC class.  

What say you??

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