ROTC attends Spring FTX at Ravenna Arsenal

Mackenzie Wallace

Members of ROTC attended Spring FTX, a field training exercise program that builds character and camaraderie while pushing participants beyond their limits, at the Ravenna Arsenal this week.

“It’s so hard and then you come back and you’re like, I pushed myself to limits I didn’t know I could,” said cadet Kristen Calo, senior nursing major and MS4 cadet. “It makes you realize that you’re able to do pretty much anything.”

This spring was a multi-functional FTX, meaning not only was Kent associated with it, but other universities also attended and participated. Calo said from Kent all MS3 and MS4 cadets, all contracted MS1 and MS2 cadets and a few select non-contracted cadets attended the event.

Military Science 1 courses are the first classes taken by ROTC students. MS2 courses are taken second, and so on.

“The MS4 cadets coordinate and set everything up because we’ve already done this, so we now teach the MS3 cadets who are applying all of the skills that we’ve taught them,” Calo said. “As for the MS1 and MS2 cadets, since they haven’t been exposed to this as much as we have, they’re there for learning, but it’s a learning experience for everybody.”

The FTX program was the final time cadets got to prepare before going to the Leadership Development and Assessment Course, which consists of training and testing in common soldier skills.

“We think these guys are the best cadets in the world, and they go off to LDAC and we can’t control the decisions of another evaluator,” Captain Stephanie Crawford said. “We’re trying to mimic the conditions that they are going to go through because it’s a big deal, so it [FTX] standardizes the certification process.”

The Spring FTX program consisted of events that allowed participants to demonstrate their knowledge of map reading and their skills in simulated battle drill scenarios.

“The MS3 cadets are evaluated on 17 dimensions,” Calo said. “They will simulate different events that could happen to soldiers, like ambushes. We have battle drills we have been teaching them to prepare for different kinds of attacks.”

Some of the different dimensions include military bearing, physical fitness, mental agility, confidence, leading others and communication.

Cadets set up hooches, which are tent-like structures, to provide shelter for the 3-day program.

Ellie Milner, junior psychology major and MS2 cadet who attended FTX, said she is open to advice from elder cadets and was excited before the event to learn by seeing examples.

“I’m expecting to mostly learn for LDAC from FTX and to learn to lead,” Milner said. “I want to see examples from other cadets since it’s not me leading.”

Contact Mackenzie Wallace at [email protected].