Army ROTC spends weekend at Camp Ravenna


Screenshot of Army ROTC Fall 2015 LDX video

Lauren Phillips

Army ROTC Fall 2015 LDX from Lauren Phillips on Vimeo.

The Kent State Army ROTC spent Saturday and Sunday at the Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center completing its fall Leadership Develop- ment Exercise, or LDX.

“We are doing a number of lanes, which consists of helping out in the motor pool, doing a down pilot lane, a paintball lane and an orienteering lane” said Cadet Adam Barnard, a junior busi- ness management major.

As a leadership and military skills training session begins, the Army ROTC focuses each lane on teaching cadets to be tactful and to think critically. Field exercises, like this weekend’s LDX, teaches cadets firsthand what it takes to lead others, motivate groups and con- duct missions as an Army Officer.

Many cadets will leave Kent State as second lieutenants in the Army National Guard, the Army Reserves or the U.S. Army.

The motor pool lane consisted of cadets learning from Army mechanics about Humvees and tanks. A group of cadets gathered around an Army mechanic who talked about how to properly fill out paperwork after check- ing a Humvee.

“We learned how to PMCS (Preven- tative Maintenance Checks and Servic- es) the Humvees, which was checking to make sure they run, making sure noth-

ing was wrong with the Humvees and we took them out for a test run.” said Cadet Stephanie Dellinger, junior psy- chology major.

Across the motor pool, a group of cadets stood on top of a tank while a mechanic talked about tank mainte- nance. They jumped down into the driver’s seat of the tank to learn about maintenance inside. The Army mechan- ic gave cadets some facts about tanks, including starting the tank up to hear the noise it makes.

“One thing I learned that I didn’t know is a tank can shoot a target and destroy it 2 miles away while moving,” Dellinger said.

In the middle of the woods at Camp Ravenna a downed pilot — an ROTC cadet leader — waited to be rescued by cadets.

In the downed pilot lane, cadets are taught how to communicate with vil- lagers and civilians. Once cadets find the pilot, they have to successfully and tactically get the pilot to safety all while remembering they are in enemy territory.

“On deployments, the big thing is talking to villagers and civilians and how to communicate with them,” said Kayla Thomas, sophomore criminology and justice studies major.

The paintball lane is set up to teach cadets to think critically during battle. Two teams enter the woods, and one exits as the winner. After the battle, the cadets regroup and are taught how they

could improve their strategies. After the teaching, the cadets re-enter the woods for a second battle where they are expected to use the advice and tac- tics given to them.

“Guys, I’ve been to Iraq. I’ve been shot at. I didn’t walk like that, trust me, those aren’t paintballs, you don’t come back,” said Capt. Josh Donecker, Army ROTC instructor.

The orienteering lane, or the critical thinking land navigation lane, teaches cadets how to think before doing. They are given a challenge and they have to solve the problem.

Challenges range from getting all

cadets through a minefield safely, res- cuing a bucket from a ravine and find- ing the buried treasure using clues and navigation tools.

The Army ROTC teaches future Army officers the skills necessary to lead others through the most challeng- ing of circumstances. The fall LDX is an important training aspect to the Army ROTC program.

“We train as we fight,” Donecker said.

Lauren Phillips is the military and veterans reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]