Detroit Lakes High School senior Sullivan (Sully) Wood, the son of Jim and Rhonda Wood, was recently awarded a full-ride Army ROTC scholarship to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Through the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps), Wood's scholarship covers four years of full tuition, a monthly stipend, and will have his books and supplies paid for. Embry-Riddle has also agreed to pay for his housing for four years. His total scholarship package is $270,820.

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Upon graduation, Wood will have a bachelor's degree in homeland security and unmanned aircraft systems. He will also have an eight-year service commitment with the United States Army, where he will serve a minimum of four years of active duty and an additional four years of active duty, with the Army Reserve, or with the National Guard. (Selected Cadets may choose to serve part time in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career).

The ROTC offers scholarships to eligible students, but the application process is tedious and the scholarship appointment is very selective. It is typically received by 5-10% of applicants who apply.

When seeking to compete for a four-year scholarship, resulting in an appointment as an officer in the US Military following college graduation, there are three categories to concentrate on:

• Academics - Strive to score the highest grades possible. Military programs seek candidates who excel academically, and you will be up against stiff competition.

• Athletics - Excel in at least one sport, preferably earning distinction. The military lifestyle can be arduous, and proving your robust abilities will make you competitive.

• Activities - Outstanding officer candidates are well-rounded individuals. Prove that you have more than intellectual and athletic ability through extracurricular and volunteer activities.

Upon being awarded this scholarship, students can choose where they would like to use it, as long as the college they choose offers an ROTC program, and they are still accepting cadets into their program.