Weekend military missions

Ryan Wilkinson

Cadets train for combat during field exercises

A weekend off campus with no books, homework or nagging professors may sound good to most students.

A weekend off campus with 50-pound backpacks and hours of being on foot – all with only four hours of sleep still sounds good to many Army ROTC cadets.

The Army ROTC held its annual Field Training Exercise at the Ravenna Arsenal April 20 through April 22. The weekend gave cadets a chance to practice land navigation skills and enhance their leadership skills and their ability to work as a team. It also increased their understanding of tactical maneuvers.

“This is the capstone exercise of the year,” said Maj. Aaron McPeake, assistant professor of military science. “The cadets get to go out and actually do the things they learn in class.”

One of the biggest components of the weekend was Saturday’s Squad Tactical Exercises in which McPeake said cadets complete missions as a team.

Cadets participated in eight missions, which included attacking and securing an enemy bunker and dealing with an embedded reporter. During each mission, cadets faced enemy forces armed with paintball guns.

The paintball guns helped the cadets learn to effectively complete a mission in a stressful environment.

With cadets at the Field Training Exercise coming from Akron, Youngstown State, John Carroll, Mount Union and Kent State, learning to trust each other was difficult for some cadets.

“It is hard working with people you don’t always go to school with,” said Josh Hallisey, a Kent State junior communication studies major, “but you have to do it.”

And that is just what the Army ROTC cadets did.

“This is actually very tiring for them,” Maj. Daniel Jones said. “They walked around for 10 hours yesterday, but they are doing fine. They are doing great.”0

Air Force ROTC

It’s not only the Army cadets who need training – Air Force ROTC cadets have also been taking their classroom experiences to the field.

The Air Force ROTC held its first Field Leadership Exercise at the Ravenna Training and Logistics Site on the property of the Ravenna Arsenal on Saturday.

About 74 cadets from Kent State, Akron, Mount Union, Case Western, Youngstown State and Baldwin-Wallace participated in Operation GOLDENFLASH, the largest training experience in the program’s history.

The cadets received training on different aspects of successful military operations, worked with a weapons simulator and completed missions that put their earlier training into action.

“This is the best thing we’ve ever done,” said Capt. Thomas Fiordelisi, the Commandant of Cadets for Air Force ROTC.

Contact ROTC and Greek Life reporter Ryan Wilkinson at [email protected].