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ROTC scholarship is pathway for law enforcement student

Danielle Krinke

ROTC scholarship is pathway to college for some students.

By Jon Echternacht, Star-Observer Staff Writer [published in the Star-Observer, Hudson, Wis., 6/26/2011]

Danielle Margaret Krinke wanted to go to college and major in law enforcement with an eye on a possible future in a police force.

She found the answer to paying for tuition at Minnesota State University, Mankato with an Army ROTC scholarship.

“I saw a pathway to college through ROTC, applied for a scholarship and got it,” said Krinke, 19, during a recent conversation in Hudson.

She admitted to checking out the Air Force first for military duty that would lead to a law enforcement job. That changed when she went to the Mankato campus last year for homecoming and a visit with her sister, Erika, 21.

“A friend of my sister gave me a lot of information on an ROTC scholarship and that was it,” Krinke said.

Krinke, a 2010 Hudson High School graduate, has already been detailed to an active duty assignment.

“We were on a training mission to El Salvador for three weeks in May,” she said. Krinke made the trip in a group of eight cadets. She said they shadowed Army second lieutenants in various jobs, including military police and engineers.

Another part of the mission included working on sites where the National Guard and Navy Seabees were building schools.

“I helped build a roof at one of the schools and it was hot,” she said.

The cadets also visited a military school in the capitol city of San Salvador and took in a few museums.

“It was a good experience,” she said. “You don’t know how good you have it in the U.S. I had visited Mexico with my parents, but the poverty in San Salvador was worse than Mexico.”

The mission required Krinke to take her freshman spring term finals early because the cadets left on May 7,. before school was finished, and returned May 28.

“It was an active duty assignment, and a cadet commander at Fort Knox, Ky., said we were the first ROTC cadets to serve on active duty,” she said.

Back on campus, she is the only female in her class and one of nine women in the ROTC program at Mankato, which doesn’t seem to be a problem in a predominately male endeavor. “I don’t mind it. I can totally deal with them (men),” she said.

Krinke said she was a member of the Hudson Police Explorers and during a ride-along, an officer told her the military was a good place to start a career in law enforcement. She is aiming at a position with the military police when she earns her commission upon graduation from college.

In the meantime, she owes the Army four years of active duty and four years in the reserves or National Guard in exchange for her ROTC scholarship.

And she hasn’t ruled out a career in the Army. “I’ll be 40 (when eligible to retire from the Army),” she said. That would give her time to start a second career in civilian law enforcement.

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