Mary Moczulewski’s IRIS Burton Bulls Fellowship Experience

In July 2023 I, along with six other cadets from all different universities and service branches,  participated in the NSEP Iris Burton Bulls ROTC Fellowship. The fellowship took place in Washington DC and included a one-day seminar at George Washington University, taught by experts in various national security-related topics, and one day at the Pentagon.
On the first day we learned about everything from the situation in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine, and China’s influence, to organ trafficking, terrorism recruitment techniques, and emerging schemes that make drug cartels even more difficult to combat. Most of us cadets came with different language and major backgrounds, which made for very interesting and dynamic discussions.
Armed with a broad understanding of the U.S. national security situation, on the second day we took to the Pentagon to meet with Senior DoD leadership. There, we got a better understanding of what we, as future junior officers, can do to support a more culturally adept force. Afterwards, we had lunch in the legendary Pentagon food court, cracking bread with Foreign Area Officers.
The last leg of day two took place in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is where the vice president predominantly works. After a tour of what may be the most gorgeous building in Washington, we met with DoD policy makers, who spoke on the intersection between national defense and politics.
Although the program lasted only two days, in that short time we cadets gained invaluable information and connections. In coming years, I hope to return and support the evolution of the NSEP ROTC Fellowship.