Living a military life requires both focus and strong organizational skills. So does juggling an internship, coursework, serving as a community advisor, and participating in the Castleton University ROTC Program. Recent alumnus Josh Sickles '20 did all of that and then some.
"I felt honored to receive this internship as it is highly competitive throughout the state. I completed over 135 hours of shadow experience through different Vermont State Troopers," Josh said. "I spent most of my time in the B5 Barracks in New Haven, Vermont, where I was able to get the first-hand experience of what it's like to be Vermont State Trooper every day."
Josh said the day-to-day activities varied depending on the types of calls for service or case writing that was needed before an arraignment. He said his days could consist of going to the courthouse, ride alongs, case write-up, shadowing a Detective Trooper, or administrative paperwork.
"The most educational part of the internship for me was the hours I spent in a ride-along scene with multiple Troopers. This provided insight into what types of events I would be doing if this was the career path I chose," Josh said.
The internship provided Josh with many lessons that will serve him well in his career.
"The most valuable things I learned from my internship is that you can go anywhere in life you want to, and every call is different," Josh said. "... In the law enforcement world, there needs to be a high level of professionalism. A call might not go the way you want to. You may be frustrated, but the next call is a whole new situation. Those individuals needing help deserve the same attention and focus as everyone else."
Josh is also a Second Lieutenant in the Vermont Army National Guard, enlisting in 2016 when he was awarded the first-ever 4-Year Vermont Minuteman Scholarship. This scholarship provided the opportunity to attend Castleton and serve in the Guard.
"It was challenging to maintaining my responsibilities with the Vermont Guard, the ROTC program, my role as a CA (community advisor) with Castleton Residence Life, and my academic life as a student. For me, it was all about organization and making sure I blocked off enough time throughout the day to give ample attention to each section."
Even with all of that going on, Josh managed to accumulate around 15 awards and honors at Castleton, including:
Distinguished Scholar Certificate
Military Personnel of the Year Award
The American Legion Military Excellence Award (ROTC)
The George C. Marshall Award (ROTC)- Most outstanding Cadet in the Senior Class
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Award (ROTC)
Community Advisor of the Month
Reserve Officer Association Award
Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society
Castleton University Honor College
Pi Gamma Mu National Honor Society
Castleton ROTC Program
Nobody does all of this alone. Josh cites several people who have made a difference during his time at Castleton.
"I am blessed to have such an amazing support system from Castleton Residence Life to include Mike Robilotto, all of the Area Coordinators, and the Community Advisors. I am also grateful for Renee Beaupre White, who guided me through my path via the Castleton Career Services Department," Josh said, "... I am thankful for my experiences at Castleton, and it will always hold a special place in my heart."