While college students’ summer plans often consist of vacations or summer classes, Florida Tech Army ROTC students had another atypical break.
They completed rigorous training camps and
internships, traveled with cultural programs and attended specialized schools like Airborne School or Air Assault School.
Isiah Mossiah, a senior studying molecular biology, completed advanced camp at Fort Knox in Kentucky.
The camp was a 31-day training course Mossiah described as “a culmination of our previous three years of ROTC training.”
Cadetcommand.army.mil states that the mission of advanced camp is to assess a cadet’s potential to serve as a commissioned officer. It lists highlights of the training event, including first aid, a field leader’s reaction course and tactics training.
Mossiah said that cadets are put into platoons of 40-45 people, and are constantly evaluated by cadres—the officers responsible for the training of cadets.
He discussed field training exercises, explaining that the first is cadreled, while the others were completed independently for purposes of evaluation.
They also completed road marches of up to 12 miles.
“You have a 35 pound ruck on your back, and you have to make a certain time requirement,” Mossiah said.
He added that many exercises are pass or fail, and that cadets must pass to continue in the course.
Cadets are ranked at the end of the training.
This ranking influences their placement in the Army later on.
Mossiah said the training gave him valuable experience in communication with a diverse group.
He said it gave him the opportunity to compare and contrast his leadership skills with others, then use that to communicate more effectively across a group.
Sergeant First Class Arsenio Rodriguez, a military instructor with Florida Tech Army ROTC, said cadets completed summer training in Africa and South America through the Cultural Understanding and Leadership Program.
According to cadetcom-mand.army.mil, CU&LP
completely immerses cadets into another culture, improving their cultural awareness.
“They get to work with cadets that are in the same role as they are, but just in a different country, and they get to experience a day in the life of how they function and what their training consists of,” Rodriguez said.
He said some cadets attended Airborne School, a three week course which includes military parachutist training.
Others attended Air Assault School, a 10 day course which Sergeant First Class Jeremy Brandon, a military instructor with Florida Tech Army ROTC, described as “physical and mental.”
“You learn all about the capabilities and limitations of all the different rotary wing aircraft,” Brandon said.
goarmy.com states that the course is designed to prepare soldiers for missions that call for the use of transportation and assault helicopters.
Brandon said he thinks the biggest benefit of summer training is the real-world experience, where cadets are able to apply the theory they have learned, and “work through problems in a way that you can’t really simulate in a classroom or laboratory environment.”
He said these concrete experiences prepare students for the responsibility and depth of knowledge required of a lieutenant before they are commissioned into the Army.
Going forward into the fall semester, Rodriguez said cadets will gain more out-of-classroom experience in field training exer-
“They get to spend two nights out in the woods,” he said. “It lets us evaluate them as leaders and how they perform under stress.”
The field training exercises are planned for the first week of November.