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New ROTC veteran military science instructor fits in with campus community

By JulieAnna Carsen
Contributing Writer
Dec. 3, 2009

In early October, Master Sgt. Clinton Hill began instructing UNCP's Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets on the basics of military science and, according to Cadet Bernice Stratton, a junior in the ROTC program, "he fits right in."

In early October, Master Sgt. Clinton Hill began instructing UNCP's Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets on the basics of military science and, according to Cadet Bernice Stratton, a junior in the ROTC program, "he fits right in."

He said his goal is to help cadets professionally by sharing his personal experiences and military expertise.

"I am academically focused. Motivation is the key for me to help students get what they need academically," Hill said. "My intent is to be approachable, understanding and to let students know that I am here to help young soldiers succeed."

Hill said he wants to make UNCP ROTC "the best program it can be."

"I want to make it fun so our students participate in the program because they want to, not because they have a contract," he said.

Hill taught a military combat movement technique class during his first day behind the teacher's desk.

Stratton said she was impressed with his teaching style and found it easier to understand "difficult teaching concepts" when Hill used his personal experiences downrange to illustrate difficult topics.

During his lecture he frequently clicked off his laser pen, faced cadets and walked them through instances where he had used particular movement techniques downrange.

"He really paints a picture in your mind of how a certain battle drill or movement technique works in real life," Stratton said.

Prior experience
Hill said he hopes his prior service and combat experience helps him guide students and give them "what they need to be successful."

“Hill is adapting very fast coming from active duty,” Capt. Warren Withrow, assistant professor of Military Science, said.

"This is where I want to be," Hill said. "I like being with [future] soldiers; I take pride in grooming them and am amazed at what they end up accomplishing."

He said the transition from active duty soldier to retired ROTC instructor was a little difficult at first.

"I'm retired, but I'm still in a military environment," Hill said. "The students mostly lead this program, but I'm used to being a senior NCO who leads everything. Now I mostly sit back and observe when I'm not teaching."

Hill successfully completed the ROTC interview process earlier this year, but Cadet Command informed him that the position needed to be filled immediately and he would need to contact the Department of the Army to request an earlier retirement date.

The DA approved his request and he retired as the Support Operations No n -Commi s s i o n e d Officer In Charge of HHC 189th CSSB at Ft. Bragg earlier this year.

"He's hitting the ground running," Withrow said. "He has a wealth of knowledge to share with cadets since he comes from a Combat Arms and Support background with 20-plus years of active duty experience and multiple combat deployments."

Hill replaces ROTC Senior Military Instructor MSG John Torre who taught Military Science courses at UNCP since 1995. Torre was contracted in August to train African military forces in Africa.

"UNC Pembroke said goodbye to an ROTC icon in August," Withrow said. "Master Sergeant Torre was irreplaceable, yet you couldn't have asked for a better replacement than Master Sgt. Hill."

The new instructor said he may hit the books to further his own academic goals.

"I have an associate in military science and coming here is a good opportunity for me to finish my education," Hill said. He is considering a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

"We really lucked out with Master Sergeant Hill. He’s motivated and UNCP will be well served by his presence in the program," Withrow said.

Hill said he plans to expand the ROTC program by adding more students in the future.


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Updated: Saturday, December 5, 2009
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