David Hayes strives to achieve goals in the army and beyond

Hayes hits the gym with ROTC during one of their weekly 6 a.m. lifts.

Watching war movies in his grandfather’s basement is not just a childhood memory for David Hayes — it became a pathway for the person that he hopes to become.

 Hayes is a junior legal studies and political science major with history and military science minors. The second minor comes along with his involvement in RWU’s Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Program.

 Being in the military is something that Hayes has always been interested in, as his family has a lot of history of prior service. In high school, he was involved in JROTC, and he began watching seniors receive military scholarships to go to college. Hayes applied for one of these, and received a scholarship that pays for all of his tuition at RWU for three years.

 Concerning ROTC, Hayes says that his involvement in the program fills about eight hours of his week. He does physical training with the group three times a week, from 6 to 7 a.m. They also travel to their military science class at the University of Rhode Island (URI) on Wednesday nights, which adds another three hours to the schedule, plus two hours of transportation. Eight hours is only an average, however, as he says some weeks garner far more or less hours.

 Hayes is a member of the color guard, which he participated in at basketball, hockey and football games, mostly at URI. He was also involved with the Veteran’s Day ceremony that took place on campus on Nov. 12.

 For the month of October, Hayes was awarded with Cadet of the Month. This selection of one cadet is made across all three schools within the ROTC program, including RWU, URI and Salve Regina University. He was chosen for this award out of more than 100 students in the program.

 Before he graduates, Hayes will get to rank jobs in the army that he prefers from 1-17. After this, he will list duty stations, which determines where he will be placed. Students have the option of choosing five different places on CONUS, on the continental United States, and their top three places OCONUS, outside of the continental United States. When asked about where he prefers to be placed, he already had destinations in mind. In choosing locations OCONUS, Hayes would love to be placed in Germany or Italy. He also has ideas on where he would like to go if placed on CONUS.

 “On CONUS, Fort Carson, Colorado or Fort Hood, Texas, because I’ve never been to Texas, and I’d like to see what all the yeehaw is about,” he said.

 Through ROTC, Hayes had the opportunity to intern at the arsenal base in Rock Island, Illinois this past summer. Every day he got to learn something different about what goes on at the base. He says that the experience was great as a whole.

 “My favorite day at that internship was when I got to work with the legal department on the island, and I learned about working with labor unions, government contracts and the acquisition process. Our mentor that day was a former Chicago prosecutor. He talked to us about his experience, and that was amazing,” Hayes said.

 Apart from ROTC, Hayes has a lot of involvement with the political science department and political activities on campus. He comments that he has always been a very political person, and when he was a freshman, he joined the RWU chapter of the College Democrats. He gradually worked his way up to Vice President and then became President of the club this academic year. Briefly, he described the last debate he was a part of in October and the process of debating with RWU’s College Republicans.

 “I’ve been in every debate so far since I was a freshman. This past one went really well. We’ll work with the College Republicans a lot because they’re a sister club and we have to show that bipartisanship still works. They’re all good people. They might have some different views but everyone has different views,” he said.

 When asked if he has had a mentor throughout his time at RWU so far, Hayes mentioned political science Professor David Moskowitz.

 “He’s just been a great adviser and professor, and he’s helped me out a lot with what I want to do in my college life here. He’s amazing,” Hayes said.

 After graduation, Hayes wants to commission active duty in the army, with his top job choice being an armor officer. In this position, he would command tanks and other fighting vehicles. He is also passionate about pursuing a career in law. Through the Funded Legal Education Program, the army will pay for law school tuition if an officer is accepted and while attending school, he or she will stay on active duty with full pay and benefits.

 Later on in his army career, Hayes wants to become an attorney. This could mean being a part of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, a branch of the military concerned with military law and justice, which is a goal he is striving for. It could also mean following a different path.

 “A dream of mine is to open up a practice for low income families who can’t afford an attorney. A lot of lower income families need lawyers sometimes to deal with all sorts of stuff, but they just can’t afford it, so I really want to help them out,” he said.

 Whether it be from extensive training in ROTC, intense debate with the College Democrats or a combination of activities, Hayes has gained a great deal of insight regarding the goals he wants to achieve once his undergraduate career comes to an end.