Recently one of our cadets had an epic story posted in our campus paper. Monday it is usually a habit of mine to pick up the campus paper and see what the latest news on campus is. Much to my surprise I saw a front page story that appeared to be about our cadets entitled “To Better Prepare Cadets for LDAC”. I thought that was great to get a little free press in the campus paper. I quickly read the 1/4 column on the front page and turned to page two, where the story was continued. My jaw dropped to see the entire second page covered in Cadet Coryea’s amusing account of the recent Joint FTX. Amongst the thoughts that went through my head was the thought that this would make a great serial blog post. A multi week serial story much in the vein of the great serial movies of yesteryear (Flash Gordon came to mind).
So without further adieu I present part one of Cadet Coryea’s epic originally published in the Clarkson Integrator
“To Better Prepare Cadets for LDAC”
The schedule for most Clarkson students last Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday probably consisted of the following; school, TV, HW, drink/party, hangover, study/hw, most but not all. A small portion of the school, about 40 students, who are involved in ROTC, participated in a weekend training event called JFTX (Joint Field Training Exercise).
For those of you who aren’t aware, ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) is a program in the military set up to train students interested in having a spine and a strong sense of purpose to become officers (leaders). Officers lead enlisted soldiers (the guys who do most of the shooting) into the field of battle to engage and defeat the enemies of the United States.
The purpose of a training exercise such as JFTX is to implement the leadership skills learned in ROTC with people you’ve never met before. Two other Army ROTC programs joined the “Golden Knight Battalion” (Niagara University and St. Bonaventure) to form one massive Battalion made up of 2 companies, 3 platoons per company, and 4 squads per company. Each squad (group of 8 highly motivated cadets) had a mix of cadets from each school in them, all ranging from MSI’s to MSIII’s (freshmen, sophomores, and juniors (the seniors are the acting “officers” who have designed every aspect of the 4 day training event)). Cadets are assigned various roles, the MS I’s act as the enlisted “grunts”, the MSII’s assume team leader roles that vary mission to mission, and MSIII’s lead the squad as “non commissioned officers”. The MSIII’s have the most important job because it is their responsibility to develop a plan of attack for whatever the situation might be. All of this time and effort is in order “To better prepare cadets for LDAC” (Leadership Development and Assessment Course). LDAC is a summer “Camp” where all MSIII’s go to be assessed as a leader which will ultimately decide where (or if) they will branch after graduating from college as a second Lieutenant.
The following is a first-hand account of JFTX and a small window into the world of the army through the eyes of a cadet.
Coming soon, Day 1: Meet and Greet