UH Army ROTC prepares for capstone event

| March 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

Cadets Taten Wilcox and Stephanie Rivera confirm their location during the day land navigation course.

Story and photos by
Cadet Capt. Brock Balmoja
Army ROTC Program
University of Hawaii at Manoa

EAST RANGE — Most college students will tell you that their Saturdays are reserved for sleep and relaxation.

That is not the case for the cadets of the University of Hawaii Army ROTC Warrior Battalion.

On a recent Saturday, the cadets awoke early to go to the East Range training area in Wahiawa. Over the next 14 hours, they would be tested in marksmanship and land navigation at the Warrior Bn.’s Super Saturday Lab.

This training event prepares Military Science III cadets for their ROTC capstone event “Advanced Camp.” During the summer of their junior year, cadets will spend a month at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where they will be pushed to their mental and physical limits and will have to demonstrate high levels of proficiency in marksmanship, land navigation, standardized testing, timed ruck marching and tactical operations in a series of field training exercises.
MSIV cadets (undergrad seniors or masters students), with the guidance and coaching of military instructors, plan and execute a variety of training and community service events. The Super Saturday is one that required over two months of planning and refinement.

Cadet Carlos Bernal, the Cadet Bn. executive officer, stated, “We owe it to (the cadets) to give them the best training possible.”

Other MSIV cadets that planned the training echoed this sentiment and stated they believe this will give them an advantage in the future.

Cadet Raysa Ruiz aims to shoot during Basic Rifle Marksmanship Qualification.

For many progression cadets, who have no prior military experience, this was the first time they had ever fired a weapon. For some, it was the first time they were assessed on their marksmanship. Regardless of their ability, the opportunity for these cadets to get some time on the range and familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of marksmanship was invaluable.

Staff Sgt. Paulo Napoles, UH ROTC cadre, stated, “The most important thing is for them to get a good group and zero. Practicing the fundamentals is what is going to make them better marksmen.”

Additionally, MSIV Warriors will vouch for the importance of land navigation at Advanced Camp. Other than being a separately graded event, a platoon leader’s ability to read a map and articulate how they are going to travel to their objective will determine whether or not they will accomplish their mission.

The Warrior Bn. takes a very simple stance on how to improve their cadets’ performance in the field – “practice makes perfect.”

Like basic rifle marksmanship, the day and night land navigation courses that the Warriors completed were just as challenging. For many of the MSI and MSII cadets (traditionally freshman and sophomores), this would be the first time they would receive a map and compass, and be told to go find their points alone in the woodline at night.

The cadets traversed several miles of wilderness while completing these courses, and they would all agree in saying that they gained a tremendous amount of confidence being able to find their way in the woods, alone in the dark at night.

The UH ROTC Warrior Bn. enjoyed a tremendously successful day of training, thanks to the MSIV cadets, UH ROTC cadre and the incredible support of 3rd Brigade Combat Team; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regiment, 2nd Infantry BCT; and the 524th Combat Sustainment Support Bn., 25th Sust. Bde. – all part of the 25th Inf. Division.

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Category: News

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