Learning to Lead: Cadet Mwamunyange sees ROTC as a path to her dreams


Khánh Nguyễn

Sophomore Peace Mwamunyange is currently a member of the 170th Company in the Kansas Army National Guard. Mwamunyange said she hopes to serve her country by becoming a respected officer.

This fall, 42 cadets will usher in the inaugural semester of Wichita State’s ROTC program.

Among those cadets is Peace Mwamunyange, a sophomore accounting major.

This is Mwamunyange’s second year at WSU, as well as her second time in an ROTC program. Originally from Tanzania, Mwamunyange said she has wanted to be in the military since she was a child.

“When I was a kid, I always traveled back and forth,” she said. “One time, I was traveling with my uncle and he asked me what I wanted to be, and I was like, ‘I want to be a military doctor.’”

When Mwamunyange and her family moved to Kansas, she saw a manifestation of her childhood dreams. Though her aspirations have changed as she has grown older, Mwamunyange is still eager to pursue a military career, and the proof is in her résumé.

Mwamunyange was a cadet in the Air Force JROTC program for one year at Wichita East High School before joining the Kansas Army National Guard the summer after her junior year. She went on to complete basic training after graduation.

ROTC cadets have team workouts every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 6 a.m., and are required to take military science classes. These classes serve to strengthen their military knowledge and build their character as future officers.

Bringing ROTC back to WSU after 30 years was one of late President John Bardo’s visions, and it was brought to fruition through the work of Marché Fleming-Randle, vice president for diversity and community engagement.

“That was my job, to me — making sure we do have ROTC,” Fleming-Randle said at a press conference in April. “For underrepresented students trying to go to college, this is a pipeline.”

Mwamunyange is currently taking the 200-level military science courses, which include fortifying leadership skills as well as preparing to command troops in a military leadership position.

She said much of the coursework involves taking information from superiors and learning how to apply those lessons to her own unit.

“I like it because it motivates me to become the best version of myself as I strive to become a good leader,” Mwamunyange said. 

Currently a member of the 170th Company in the Kansas Army National Guard, Mwamunyange said she hopes to serve her country by becoming a respected officer someone her soldiers can confide in and look up to.

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