By Rebecca Fielder
Two Baylor Army ROTC cadets have more in common than the uniforms they wear. For the first time in Baylor’s history, two siblings are contracted together, set on a career path toward military service.
Fort Leavenworth, Kan., sophomore Connor McHugh has been in Baylor ROTC for a year and this semester his younger brother, Dylan McHugh of Fort Leavenworth, Kan., enters the program as a freshman.
The two will contract today, which means they will take an oath in front of their peers and ROTC supervisors to serve in the Army as officers after graduation from Baylor.
Ysenia Crouse, Baylor Army ROTC recruiting operations officer, said this summer was the first time ROTC faculty realized a freshman coming into the program was named McHugh, like Connor. The faculty connected the dots, checked the paperwork, and discovered the two were brothers, she said.
“Dylan and Connor have been together since they were younger, so they get along very well, to the point that they’re rooming together in the same dorm,” she said.
Connor said he wishes to pursue a lifelong career in the military, while Dylan said he is unsure how long he will serve.
“I might get out after I’ve served some time, but I’ll definitely be in more than the four years that I owe them,” Dylan said. “It’ll probably be somewhere between ten and 20.”
Connor said he knew since he was in high school he wanted to participate in ROTC when he came to college. Dylan said he was of a similar mindset.
“For me the reason is mostly because of the legacy we have,” Dylan said. “Our grandpa was in the military and our dad is currently in the military. That played a big part, just seeing the roles that they had in our lives.”
The brothers said the financial benefit of scholarships from ROTC were also a deciding factor. Both brothers were granted a coveted national scholarship from the U.S. Army Cadet Command while still in high school, Connor for three years of school and Dylan for four. Both siblings also receive financial support through the Baylor Yellow Ribbon program, which caters to veterans and their families. The brothers’ father is a colonel in the Army infantry.
“Baylor seemed the most military-friendly of all the schools I applied to,” Connor said.
So far the siblings’ experience together at Baylor Army ROTC has been a positive one, they said. Dylan said it has been beneficial for him to enter ROTC with his older brother already participating.
“It’s been really helpful, especially because Connor has been here a year already. He already knows what I’m going through and what I should do to succeed,” Dylan said.
Connor said he and his brother found ROTC beneficial over immediate military service after high school because there are career benefits in having a college degree alongside service.
Dylan wishes to pursue a medical career within the Army while Connor said he has a desire to be a military police officer.
The two agree that growing up in a military family influenced their decision to join ROTC but they have always been free to make their own choices.
“Our dad told me at the beginning of the semester to try out ROTC for a month, and if it didn’t turn out like I wanted it to be, then I could just not do it and not contract,” Dylan said. “He said it was my choice, and so did my mom. They said they would support us either way. But I’m sure that they’re both proud of us for doing it together.”