By Sydney Callis
Leader’s Training Course
Before Cadets tackle the situational training exercise, they practice battle drills and techniques in the grassy fields between the barracks of the Disney complex.
The training prepares the Leader’s Training Course Cadets to react to varying field scenarios, like an ambush or an improvised explosive device, IED — scenarios they will face at the STX.
“They learn how to react to different situations in the battlefield,” said Staff Sgt. Juan Velez, a Golf Company trainer. “They’re learning how to protect themselves, protect their squads and how to maneuver defensive and offensive objectives.”
Working together in squads, Cadets have to have trust in their peers and work well with them to successfully complete the different drills.
“If we’re not a team now, we’re not going to be a team out on the field,” said Golf Company Cadet Katelin Mariner of University of Florida. “If you’re not a team out on the field it can result in casualties or fatalities.”
Practicing the drills with the cadre allows Cadets to ask questions and better understand the logistics of the drills because once they’re at the STX lanes, Cadets won’t be able to see each other as easy as they do in the fields.
“It’s a lot easier when there’s visual demonstration as opposed to reading it out of a book and trying to learn it yourself,” said Golf Company Cadet Jason Orozco of University of Texas Pan-American.
After listening to the situation and getting a briefing from the trainers, Cadets practice the different strategies to use during the field reaction training.
Not only does this training prepare Cadets for their time at the STX lanes, it also prepares them for their time at the Leader Development and Assessment Course, commonly known as LDAC, where Cadets choosing to continue in ROTC will go next summer.
“This is something we’re going to be evaluated on in this training course, a year from now at LDAC and when we’re an officer,” Orozco said. “This is going to affect my potential for scholarship, and this will effect basically, how I look when I lead other Cadets back at my school.”
If Cadets decide to continue their career with the Army, these battle drills can prove to be lifesaving if they’re deployed. Golf Company Cadet Donna Matrician, a student at State University of New York at Plattsburgh, said the different methods will prepare Cadets for a future with the Army.
“We learn two different methods,” Matrician said. ”You learn what you have to do for STX and you learn what you should do in a real situation if you had real guns and real fire going on.”
Mariner said she recognizes the real life applications of these drills and is glad she’s learning them.
“You fight like you train,” Mariner said. “Teamwork is critical.”