Tyler Gramlin from Borden, Ind., a freshman Army ROTC cadet at Indiana State University, provides security during a two-day Combined Field Training Exercise at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, March 31,
2012. Photo by Army Sgt. William Hill
EDINBURGH, Ind. (4/3/2012) -- It was not a typical learning day for
more than 500 college students as they learned how to rappel from a
45-foot rappel tower, experienced a vehicle roll-over and played
capture the flag with paintball guns. But they are not typical
students; they are Army ROTC cadets.
More than 500 Army ROTC
cadets from 14 colleges and universities participated in a two-day
Spring Combined Field Training Exercise at Camp Atterbury Joint
Maneuver Training Center, March 30 through 31.
consisted of tactical movement training, rappelling, clearing
buildings, day and night land navigation, a field leader reaction
course and several other critical skill-set training exercises which
are designed to mentally and physically challenge the cadets.
Lt. Col. Brian Freidhoff, a professor of military science said,
“We have decided among the other school leadership to come together
for our spring field training exercise primarily because it closely
replicates what our
juniors are going to have to experience at the leader development
and assessment course.”
Freidhoff said the obstacles the cadets overcome
require a little bit of physical endurance, but primarily,
their leadership is what is evaluated.
their leadership is what we are here to evaluate, and there
is no one right solution to get through the obstacles. And
the fact is, if they don't get through it, that is not even
necessarily the most important thing. It is how they use
their skills and decision making process in order to
negotiate the obstacle and come up with the solution to do
it,” said Freidhoff.
He said having the cadets from
different university and colleges all come together to
participate in the exercise not only allows them to meet
other like-minded individuals, but more importantly, it
brings the cadets out of their comfort level.
of our cadets are evaluated by their universities and
colleges with people they are familiar with and there is
somewhat of a comfort level that is achieved when you are
familiar with people, so we bring them out here and mix them
up into squads where they don't know anyone else. It creates
a new group dynamic that allows them the opportunity to lead
in an environment where they are not comfortable with
everyone,” he said.
Shaun Redden, from Cincinnati, a
senior Army ROTC cadet with Xavier University said the
combined field training exercise prepares cadets for their
future military careers.
“I think it really gives us
an opportunity to prepare for what we are doing in less than
a year. I have been with my classmates for four years so I
know their leadership styles and I know how they work, but
these cadets from other schools, we haven't had much
exposure with so it is a good tool to help us prepare for
our first unit that we are going to go to,” said Redden.
Redden added that the training they received during the
exercise not only helps the cadets graduate ROTC but will be
utilized throughout their military career.
are basic soldier skills that they are learning and is
something they will continue to use throughout their career,
especially when you graduate ROTC as a young officer, you
will be leading smaller units and these are tactics you will
be using,” he said.
While undertaking the intense
training, the cadets are not only learning valuable
lifesaving skills, they also are having fun.
Price, from Bloomington, Ind., a freshman Army ROTC cadet
with Indiana University said she enjoyed the realism of the
M16 simulator and the Humvee roll over training simulator.
“It is awesome but it is cold, and it rained a lot
yesterday, but so far the time has been awesome. I love
getting out in the field and doing stuff like this. It is
way better than sitting in a classroom,” said Price.
As the sun sets, the students finish their training
exercise, for tomorrow, some will an awaken leaders on a
career path to greatness.
More photos available below
By Army Sgt. William Hill
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