UT's Army Reserved Officers' Training Corps program not only challenges its
cadets in the classroom, but also in the field.
One hundred and fifty ROTC cadets from four area universities participated
in a series of training programs and situational exercises-- or STX-- last
weekend in Fort Knox, Ky., and I was able to join them. The experience
allowed me as a civilian to see firsthand what the cadets go through.
The training kicked off early Friday morning as the MS-3s (juniors)
conducted squad level situational training exercises. These exercises are
designed to test the cadets' leadership abilities in various combat
scenarios. Each leader is evaluated on their ability to plan, lead and
control their unit in a hostile environment.
Meanwhile, the MS-1 (freshmen) and MS-2 (sophomores) cadets toured the
Patton Museum and received an orientation to an AH-64 Apache attack
helicopter that will soon be deployed to Kosovo. They also had the
opportunity to operate tank simulators.
As I arrived Friday night, the cadets were participating in land navigation
training in the woods.
At 5 a.m. Saturday morning, while the rest of the world was still asleep,
the dreaded "lights on" came.
It was the beginning of a busy day for the cadets. They left early for
weapons check and breakfast.
At 6:30 a.m., we headed toward the platoon STX, where the MS-3s were going
to be evaluated on field leadership. This is done to see how they and their
platoon react under hostile circumstances, such as being fired upon by
Cadet Kelly Street and Cadet Nick Meadows, both MS-3s, were appointed as
platoon sergeant and platoon leader. Together they led their platoon
through densely wooded areas and past snipers to complete their mission, a
raid on an enemy base camp.
At the same time, the MS-1s and MS-2s were at Canby Rifle Qualification
Range. An instructor and some of the MS-4s (seniors) were briefing them on
how to handle, use and shoot M-16 rifles from different tactical
The cadets finished training and were taken by bus to Holder Maintenance
Complex. There they cleaned the M-16s and the MS-4s and cadre inspected
From 7 p.m. Saturday night to 5 a.m. Sunday morning, the cadets finally had
some free time to relax and clean their gear.
Sunday morning came all too quickly for all, but the excitement of the
Field Leadership Reaction Course had the tired cadets ready for their last
The cadets were organized into ten teams for the ten stations of the FLRC.
The purpose of the course is to evaluate cadet leadership, teamwork,
communication and their ability to accomplish a task under mentally and
physically challenging conditions.
Published: Tue Apr 20, 1999 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 01:50 p.m.