FORT BUCHANAN, PUERTO RICO- Over a hundred cadets from the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) began their summer camp, in what is known as Operation Agile Leader, Aug. 1, here by participating of the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) to measure their physical readiness.
The cadets belong to the Taino Warriors Battalion at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, and the Bulldog Battalion at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, where they are pursuing an Army career as an officer, while obtaining their college degree.
“I feel good and a little bit anxious about the upcoming events,’’ said Cadet Joshua Diaz Rosa, a native of Cidra, Puerto Rico.
Cadets were formed into one platoon, at 5:30 a.m., led by Sgt. 1st Class Harold García, ROTC Cadre, who provided the set of instructions for the push-ups, sit-ups and 2 mile run events that comprise the APFT.
“If you fail to keep your body generally straight, to lower your whole body until your upper arms are at least parallel to the ground, or to extend your arms completely, that repetition will not count,’’ said Garcia in regards to the push-up events.
Each squad was evaluated independently, maintaining the distance among each other, as per the safety considerations implemented due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“Make sure you are wearing your mask at all times!,’’ said Garcia.
After completion of the APFT, the cadets moved to Camp Santiago, in Salinas were they established expeditionary operations.
“Expect a lot of heat, stay hydrated, roll-up sleeves and un-blouse your trousers,” said Sgt. 1st Class Rafael Torres, another member of the ROTC Cadre in Puerto Rico.
Finally cadets were instructed on the principles of land navigation where they must locate at least three out of four locations during the day time.
“I expect the event to be hard, but I will strive to get four out of four”, said Cadet Luis Alfonso Ojeda, a native of Cayey, Puerto Rico.
Each summer, rising seniors and select rising sophomores and juniors from institutions across the nation travel to Fort Knox, Kentucky to participate in the ROTC Cadet Summer Training (CST).
Due to the travel restrictions created by the COVID-19, for the first time ever, this year all training for Advanced and Basic Camps moved from a centralized training event at Fort Knox to a distributed execution of training on campuses during the fall semester.
The intent of this 8 day training experience is to provide the hands-on experience required of ROTC Cadets before they are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the United States Army.