SALINAS, PUERTO RICO- Cadets from the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in Puerto Rico tested their Land Navigation and Marksmanship skills, Aug. 2, at the Camp Santiago Joint Maneuver Training Center, as part of their summer camp, known as Operation Agile Leader.
Cadets were distributed in two platoons to simultaneously train on all the required warrior and leader tasks.
At the weapons range, the future leaders first had to receive the safety briefing and the zeroing of their weapons. For some of the cadets, this was not the first exposure to the M-4 weapon system.
“I want to achieve the Military Science level 4 and become a mentor to others,” said Cadet Jerry Molina, from the Mayaguez Bulldog Battalion, while expressing his intent to do well during the summer camp.
The cadet chain of command is formed from within the Military Science Level 4 class, at the beginning of each school year.
Maj. Eduardo Libed, Military Science Instructor, assessed the operation of each training site to determine which of the processes need improvement, and what areas can be sustained.
“Under normal circumstances, during the third year in the ROTC program, cadets are required to travel to Fort Knox. Because of the COVID-19, we consolidated the training, from 35 to 8 days, in Puerto Rico, with the same standards,’’ said Libed.
ROTC Non Commissioned Officers were distributed in support of the training operation, ensuring that the command´s safety measures were fully implemented.
“Our cadets have already plotted the points this morning, received the briefing, looked at the terrain model, and some are currently out there trying to get 3 out of 4 to complete the task,” said Sgt. 1st Class Gerardo Figueroa, one of the ROTC cadre members.
The high temperatures did not stop the future officers from doing their very best.
Cadet Brian Velez acquired a maximum score in Land Navigation.
“I just finished doing Land Nav course during the daytime, and it was relatively easy. The heat was a struggle but we made it through. I enjoyed my experienced ,” said a proud Velez.
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.