The Albion College softball program continues to develop its culture of teamwork, and perhaps no one will appreciate it more than Camille Roloff, '21, who plays second base for the Britons.
A native of Martinsville, Ind., Roloff reported to Fort Lee, Va., during the fall semester to complete basic training in the Army, where she will work as a petroleum supply specialist. The job requires her to supervise the reception, storage and shipping of fuel.
"I was inspired to join the military because I wanted to do something for myself, and become a part of something bigger than myself," Roloff said. "Making the decision to join the Army was the first time I had ever made a big decision completely on my own, and I knew joining would help to better me as a person overall.
"My training experience was stressful at most times, but that's what I had expected," she added. "Being in an environment like that taught me more about myself in terms of what I can handle mentally, and made me tougher in that way."
She offered the most challenging aspect were days that stretched from 5 a.m.-9 p.m., and the lack of sleep that followed. A typical day included waking at 4:30 for physical training, going to the range at 8 a.m. for shooting practice and ending the day with educational time with the drill sergeants and final formation.
"I believe this will benefit my softball career because of the mental and physical toughness I've learned," Roloff said. "Softball is mainly mental, and I hope to share this new 'never quit, never accept defeat' mentality with the team. I gained some leadership experience during Advanced Individual Training serving as the platoon guy (PG) for my platoon for six weeks. It forced me to be more vocal, which is something I had struggled with before. Being PG has given me the confidence I need to be a better leader for the team as it came with a lot of responsibility."
While the scholarship is essential to helping fund her college education, Roloff said the soft skills of learning to communicate – and relay information – and teamwork will be most valuable as she develops professionally.
"I've learned the importance of communication and teamwork through running field exercises," she said. "When going through lanes with my squad we had to communicate with hand and arm signals so the enemy couldn't hear us. When doing this it's crucial that everyone is relaying the message and communicating with one another so everyone is on the same page, if not it could cost someone's life on the real battlefield."
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