One hundred ninety-three uniformed cadets spent last Saturday enduring cold temperatures, strong winds and more than 10 miles of marching with little rest and hardly anything to eat.
The BYU ROTC spent two days at Camp Williams last weekend with completing a series of field training exercises to test the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the semester. The cadets were challenged in areas of land navigation and platoon lanes, among other skills and practices. The senior students, on their way to becoming lieutenants, planned and administered the camp’s proceedings. ROTC students from UVU, DSU and SUU participated.
“The focus for the junior class is to gain a base knowledge of leadership principles,” said Cadet Russell Peacock of DSU. “What does it takes to receive, plan, organize and execute a mission?”
The senior administrators evaluated participants throughout each exercise and offered critiques to help the cadets improve in the hands-on aspect of their ROTC education.
“The army has a challenge to teach leadership to cadets that have probably not been in leadership positions before,” said Major Darin Gumucio, from DSU. “The venue for which the army does it is through tactical exercises and battle drills; it teaches attention to detail and understanding the doctrine of the army.”
ROTC offers students a chance to test out the army culture before enlisting and gives those who have a leg up before they begin. Some students, on the other hand, simply take the course as an elective credit. BYU ROTC student Danita Knickerbocher always knew the military life was for her.
“I’ve wanted to be in the military since I was 4,” she said. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever chosen to do.”
Cadet Tanner Jackson, a BYU senior evaluator, said no matter what motivates students to join ROTC, it is an opportunity to learn leadership in a real-life environment.
“Leadership skills you learn here can carry over into the workforce, social life and family life,” Jackson said. “These are traits and principles you can carry with you anywhere.”
Visit http://marriottschool.byu.edu/army/ to learn more about the ROTC program at BYU.