ROTC leaders tough it out at camp

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ROTC provides leadership training for cadets, but the training on Saturday afternoon was not like normal training. It was the Leadership Reaction Course training at Camp W.G. Williams.

In a fairly deserted area, a group of Air Force ROTC cadets stood in formation and listened to the mission briefing before facing obstacles. The LRC training requires cadets to work as a group and overcome many obstacles in order to finish the missions in a limited time.

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ROTC cadets run and jump their way to becoming leaders at Camp W.G. Williams.
“It [the LRC] is trying to increase leadership ability by being able to observe the problems, react, decide and act,” said Major Matt Davis who is in charge of Air Force ROTC day-to-day training.

The LRC provides not only obstacles and trials but also scenarios for each obstacle. The cadets divided in groups and took turns to face the obstacles. For each obstacle, the cadets have to complete the mission while obeying a set of limitations. In most scenarios cadets have to cross a “minefield” without touching the ground. If the cadets fail to act within the limitation, they receive a 15 to 30 second penalty where they are not allowed to move or talk.

“We actually have something called the OODA loop, which stands for observe, orient, decide and act,” Davis said.

Throughout the LRC, Davis taught the cadets the theory and encouraged them to apply it in order to complete the mission. Davis said the cadets can apply the training experience to more than just their military career.

“It’s a way to master your behaviors, thoughts and actions in a good way,” he said. “It also has social implication and gospel implication.”

Even though the LRC was challenging, the cadets returned with excitement and valuable experience. Cadet Chris Whitehead, a sophomore studying political science, said the LRC was a good exercise and a test for their leadership skills in a real world environment.

“I learned more about myself, ” Whitehead said. “And how I react to pressure.”

Cadet Daniel Johnston, studying business management, said he had a clear view of what he expected in a military career and the LRC is a really beneficial activity.

“[I learned] how to be a good leader but almost more importantly how to be a good follower,” Johnston said.

Providing leadership training and experience for the cadets in such an early state is really important because some of the cadets will be the future officers and leaders of the military.

“If your tactic is better, you’re always going to win,” Davis said.

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