Army ROTC puts their training to the test

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    TCU Army ROTC cadets demonstrated their skills this weekend at the battalion’s Leadership Training Exercise (LTX).

    The event was hosted at the Fort Worth Independent School District’s Leadership Learning Center in Azle. It required cadets to practice what they had learned this semester through a series of challenging events and scenarios.

    “LTX is a culmination of training they receive during the semester,” said Sgt. First Class John Thompson, a military science instructor at TCU. “They have class and lab, but to put it all together in a longer period of time we have to resort to this (LTX). It’s a check on their learning.”

    The University of North Texas and Baylor University detachments joined TCU at LTX to make the Horned Frog Battalion complete. Cadets participated in activities including land navigation, platoon patrolling, operations order processes and leadership reaction courses.

    Cadets also took part in group problem-solving activities. One of these activities, the humanitarian assistance exercise, required cadets to work in teams and create a rescue plan for a mock-hurricane scenario in New Orleans.

    “In the scenario we have a set of resources at our disposal such as boats and basic materials,” TCU cadet Tim Ross said.” We have to find a way to get across a bridge with debris and hostile civilians in the way while using resources to evacuate everyone and get food and water for everyone. There are a lot of challenges and we are giving changing situations by those giving us the lecture.”

    Ross said the humanitarian assistance exercise was just one of many difficult activities.

    “We’re doing pretty much everything this weekend that you would associate with being a soldier; what to do you if you see the enemy, how to ambush the enemy, and reconnaissance,” Ross said. “It’s a good opportunity to put everything into practice.”

    For some of the older cadets, the LTX is an opportunity for them to pass down their knowledge to the younger and less experienced cadets.

    TCU cadet John Maher, a senior history and philosophy double major, said it was neat being able to watch younger cadets experience battlefield operations and procedures for the first time.

    “I’m prior service and I’ve done most of this stuff before since it’s introductory,” Maher said. “On this side of things we are responsible for planning and execution. The training aspect provides a sense of gratification and you get to see guys learning something for the first time.”

    Thompson said LTX prepares cadets for what they will face this summer when they go to their respective summer training camps.

    “We have it broken down between those (cadets) going to the cadet initial entry training program camp, and those going to the cadet leadership camp,” Thompson said. 

    “The training in specific to what they will do this summer. When they get to camp it’s not something entirely new, so maybe they will perform better than their peers.”