Time of Decision was an Army ROTC comic book about a man who uses his ROTC training to advance in the business world and become an ideal breadwinner. Early in the story, Ted’s guidance counselor shares his own experience in ROTC as an undergraduate. One of the first things the counselor told Ted was the attention and attraction he received from women. The illustrations support these notions and highlight his interactions with women throughout. When the counselor tells ted that he had classes with other students, the accompanying image shows a smiling, attractive blonde woman in the foreground, and a uniformed man sitting behind.[^] Here, there is an implication that this female, given her prominence in the photo, was a part of his positive memories as an ROTC student. This notion is immediately supported when he added, “And at the end of the day when classes were over, the boys in uniform had plenty of social activity…”, followed by an image of him with a (presumably the same) woman at a soda shop telling him, “I was just thinking - you remind me of the song ‘There is something about a soldier’!”[^] He is then seen making future plans with “his girl” during his senior year. This section not only plays up the opportunities to meet and impress women as an enlisted military personnel, but also echoes a piece of popular culture which expresses the same sexual appeal of a man in the military.
Ted encounters some similar attention and admiration from his female (as well as male) peers. One scene features a young woman leaning in and grabbing Ted’s arm, and the narration reads, “Ted found that ROTC paid off in other ways too…”[^] The young woman is impressed by his accomplishments, saying, “Ted, you’re getting so many decorations! What are you, a general or something?”[^] The clear implication in this portion is that the ROTC “paid off” by providing him with status symbols that were intriguing and attractive to young women. Additionally, there are two young men and a young woman looking on from behind the two, and the male and female couple on the left are looking on in admiration, similar to the scene in Dick Wingate in the US Navy.
The social and romantic life of ROTC cadets is also illustrated elsewhere. The ROTC Cadet ball is also highlighted as a highly-regarded social activity.[^] The narration reads “To all cadets and their girls, the annual military ball tops the list of social activities.”[^] A woman in the background tells her ROTC date, “I wouldn’t have missed this for anything!” and her date responded, “Yes, you would if you weren’t going steady with an ROTC man.”[^] Ted and his girl are in the foreground, expressing affection for each other. The scene puts forth the idea that the dance is a place where many desire to attend, but only the ROTC men are able to invite people, providing them with social capital. Later on, Ted, as a senior and cade officer, was chosen to escort the campus homecoming queen.[^] The scene in which this occurs includes several onlookers, and one young woman commented, “I don’t see why they couldn’t elect me campus queen! I’d like to be sitting up there next to that fellow on the right!”[^] Her friend informs her that he’s going steady, but it’s apparent from this scene that the author played up the attraction women have toward these uniformed men, and also that the ROTC placed young in positions of high social value.
As part of an ROTC training montage, a young man and woman are shown sitting poolside.[^] The young woman says “It’s a lot of fun for us girls when you boys are up here at summer camp!” alluding to the availability of interested young women around military camps and installments.