BYU ROTC members take uncommon vacations

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    By LINDSEY SWITZLER

    Compared to most college students, BYU ROTC members have unusual summer vacation plans.

    Junior Cadets are invited for five weeks to participate in Advanced Camp, a rigorous leadership training camp held in Fort Lewis, Wash.

    Thirty BYU students will be attending camp this summer. The first to depart report to camp on June 6. Marcus Hunter, a junior from Springville, Va., majoring in molecular biology is in the first regiment.

    “At this point I am really anxious for camp, that is the reason I took the first spot. Being first is somewhat of an advantage because everyone’s excited about it. I am somewhat apprehensive about camp in the sense that it plays a big role in deciding your military career, depending on how well you score,” Hunter said.

    Performance by cadets is supervised by ROTC officers and ranked on a point basis. At the end of camp the best four or five score sheets are tallied and reviewed by officers along with a self-assessment report completed by cadets.

    BYU ROTC Captain William Boucher is among the officers at Fort Lewis reviewing cadets’ performance.

    Regiments that have 300 to 400 cadets will arrive in Fort Lewis every three days starting June 6 with the last group arriving August 14.

    BYU cadets join ROTC cadets from Puerto Rico to Ghana, from Alaska to Maine, and everywhere in between at the camp, Boucher said.

    Upon arrival they separate students from the same schools, putting them in platoons of 40 students.

    “I’m most excited about the 11 days in the field towards the end of camp. We sleep in tents and spend two-thirds of the time doing squad tactics and platoon defense and offense operations,” said Sarah Leseberg, a junior from Provo majoring in history, who will attend the first session.

    She added that she wants to do the best she can and at the end to know that she’s learned the most.

    The cadets’ summer vacations don’t stop with camp. Marie Perrault, a junior from San Antonio, Texas majoring in nursing, departs for Germany for four weeks immediately after camp for a nurse summer-training program.

    Twenty-four hours after graduation, Leseberg leaves for Korea for three and a half weeks to shadow a lieutenant. Hunter will leave after camp for Korea as part of a finance command.

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