13th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest The American Experience
School bus

A cadet relaxes in a school bus. In Japan we have a military academy much like West Point, however, we don’t have a program like ROTC, the Army’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. When I saw ROTC students in Philadelphia I was intrigued. With this project, I photographed ROTC students on campus, at the training grounds and their daily civilian lives for nearly 10 months. I was curious, what is college life like for a ROTC student? Of course they learn a lot of military traditions, responsibilities, ethics, and skills-and it’s not just how to operate a weapons. Beyond that, I saw no differences between ROTC students and any other college students; they love parties, hate homework, and enjoy chatting over a cup of coffee.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 11.2013
Date Uploaded: 11.2015
Photo Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Camera: NIKON D800
Copyright: © Takashi Aoyama