ROTC roundup: Initial training events a success

During the 2010-11 school year, members of Mercyhurst College’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps provide periodic updates on the group’s activities and daily life.

On September 10, The Pride of PA Battalion’s cadets gathered to welcome the new cadets into the program and jump start what will seemingly be a great year.

In order to build a team atmosphere, cadets were introduced to their fellow classmates from Gannon University and Penn State Behrend. They took part in numerous activities, including a demonstration from the Ranger Challenge team, military historians/reenactors, tug-o-war, dizzy bat and more.

“Taking time to get to know everyone in the battalion is important,” sophomore Matt Terrigno said. “We not only get to have fun playing games and getting to know them, but we get to learn how valuable working together as a team is for the success of our future.”

Underclassman cadets were paired up with the upperclassman for a mentorship program.

“The mentorship program is essential to provide new Cadets with the opportunity to have an upperclassman that will always be there to help them out and show them the right direction if they are having trouble with schoolwork, or even just adjusting to college life,” says senior Kevin May.

Cadets then attended an awards ceremony which recognized their accomplishments over the spring term and summer break.

On September 18, cadets in their junior year from all three schools met at the Logan Carriage House to begin their preparation for Warrior Forge 2011 (Leadership Development Assessment Course). They started out their day with a rigorous workout, the Army Physical Fitness Test. This measured not only their strength, but their muscle and mental endurance. Cadets must do as many push-ups and sit-ups as they can in two minutes and then run 2 miles as fast as they can.

After this testing, they headed out into the woods, to be evaluated on their leadership abilities while managing small squads (teams of 10 individuals) to accomplish tasks that are equivalent to real life missions. These Situational Training Exercises allow cadets to be evaluated in the 17 Army dimensions – while under intense pressure – in order to better assess what types of classroom education is needed before the final evaluations during summer 2011.

The Pride of PA Army ROTC Battalion has more events coming up, including a Field Training Exercise, Combat Water Survival Test and Tactical Road/Ruck March.