By Pfc. Lynnwood ThomasMarch 28, 2019
Cadets from the Reserve Officer Training Corps and United States Military Academy joined Brig. Gen. K. Todd Royar, acting senior commander of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell, Aug. 8, for tactical combat physical training.
The event culminated three weeks training at Fort Campbell for the Army's Cadet Troop Leader Training program, and required these future officers to navigate a 4.2-mile course with six lanes along the trail. In 10-person teams, the cadets competed for the fastest time while successfully completing requirements at each lane.
At the first lane, the Buy-In, each team member performed 60 pushups, 80 air squats and 25 burpees.
Sergeant Sebastian Maybir, a cannon crewmember with A Battery, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Division Artillery, 101st Abn. Div., was in charge of Lane Two - casualty evacuation. There, teams were tasked to provide medical treatment to Rescue Randy training mannequins and transport their mannequin 100 yards using a littler, followed by assembling the components to a radio and to call in a 9-line medical evacuation
The lanes were designed to reinforce skills the cadets will need in the future, Maybir said.
"The importance is that once they get commissioned, they'll have the proper basic knowledge that they should as leaders," he said. "When they do come into the Army, they're able to lead from the front and teach their own Soldiers."
The remaining events included map reading, resupply operations, pushing a M998 Humvee and towing a M119 Howitzer.
USMA student, Cadet Lt. Jennifer A. Suter's time shadowing a lieutenant from 21st BEB gave her a greater understanding of how military occupational specialties work together to support a brigade. "The Army expects their officers to be stronger, faster and more mentally and physically tough, which is a good expectation for all of us," Suter said. "This event showed us an example of that - what we can work toward and continue as officers."
The CTLT program brings ROTC and West Point cadets together for camaraderie while establishing relationships that become important as they commission to second lieutenant and join the Army and the officer corps.
"You're as strong as your weakest link," Suter said. "That goes whether you're in a group of officers or with your Soldiers."
USMA student, Cadet Capt. Joshua K. Pleake, shadowed 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Abn. Div. He enjoyed getting out of the bubble of his everyday routine and gaining some perspective regarding what things will be like with an actual unit, Pleake said.
"At West Point, we do a lot of training in the summers that deal with operational things and how to plan missions and execute missions," he said. "What we don't get to see is everything that goes into that - so all the paperwork that has to be done, all of the things that go into reserving time in the field or reserving a range. It's been really cool to see how the platoon leaders are interacting with the company commander and the staff just to make one day of training happen."
It was awesome completing the PT session with Royar, Pleake said. Especially because it was one of the toughest courses he can remember.
"They needed to be able to see what's available to them and the various types of PT they can do to get after their own combat tasks," Royar said.
Royar's team completed the course with the fastest time.
"Great PT session conducted by the Red Knights," Royar said. "We really showed our cadets what PT can be in the Army, the importance of leadership and the importance of teamwork."