Army ROTC cadets attend field training

Ariane R. Cavin

Kent State Army ROTC cadets spent the weekend with cadets from The University of Akron, John Carroll University and Youngstown State University at the Ravenna Arsenal. Cadets attended a Field Training Exercise to practice land navigation, squad training e

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Not everyone can learn by reading a textbook or listening to a professor lecture for hours. Sometimes it’s necessary to get out and get dirty.

Army ROTC cadets spent the weekend at the Ravenna Arsenal learning and evaluating tactics along with cadets from Youngstown State University, the University of Akron and John Carroll University.

The Field Training Exercise is a semiannual event attended by cadets that is used to build teamwork and leadership skills.

Most cadets arrived at the arsenal by Friday afternoon and spent the day doing land navigation.

While training at the FTX, ROTC cadets were surrounded by Humvees, tanks and other American soldiers in training at the arsenal. Senior cadets plotted points throughout the fields in the arsenal and made maps. Other cadets were instructed to find as many of those points as possible using their maps and azimuth techniques.

By Saturday morning the cadets were already exhausted.

“They didn’t get very much sleep, if any at all,” said Maj. Daniel Jones, executive officer of Army ROTC. “They couldn’t get comfortable in the leaky tents because of the rain.”

Although the first night did not bring much rest, cadets were up by 5 a.m. Saturday.

The entire day was filled with playing paintball while conducting situation training exercises. Some of the situations included squad movement technique, individual movement technique, reaction to contact, entering a building and ambushes.

Cadets were then evaluated on their performances by senior cadets and cadre.

“The weather was a lot better than last year,” senior technology major Jim O’Dell said. “Last year it was really cold and wet.”

Saturday night, cadets were treated to a steak dinner after their long day. The day winded down with a class about patrolling with the patrolling exercise held on Sunday morning.

The current site for Ohio Army National Guard training, the Ravenna Arsenal, was established in 1940 and was used as an army ammunition plant.

“This site was used to test and store munition used during World War II,” Jones said. “Most of that munition was just destroyed about two years ago.”

Contact ROTC reporter Ariane R. Cavin at [email protected]