ROTC holds field training exercise in Yankton
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ROTC holds field training exercise in Yankton

The Reserve Officers Training Corps held a two-day field training exercise this weekend at the Lewis and Clark Boy Scout Camp in Yankton.

Thirty-two USD students of all grade levels in ROTC attended.

ROTC prepares students to become officers in the U.S. military. Students who enroll in ROTC receive a paid college education and a guaranteed post-college career, and commit to serve in the military post-graduation, according to the organization’s website.

ROTC does a field training exercise once each semester.

“I think it’s important to have an event like this because it helps me come in as a freshman and learn as much as I can since I want to eventually go into active duty,” said Christina Vogel, a first-year political science major.

The weekend’s event included several instructors with prior military experience to lead and assist in some of the training modules. This was the first year ROTC included the instructors in the camp.

Some of the weekend’s exercises included team training activities, running through an obstacle course, climbing and rappelling a rappel tower and several classes.

Senior Ashley Flood, a criminal justice major and cadet battle commander, said this is their first field training exercise of the year.

“We have a lot of new freshman cadets this year, so this is basically our kind of fun, beginning of the year exercise,” she said.

Some of the class topics included land navigation, leaders recon, an objective rally point (ORP) and suicide prevention.

The annual event has seen an increase in numbers in previous years, but showed its highest numbers to date this year. There was also a record high amount of first-year students participating.

“I think the numbers definitely show a positive outlook for us,” Flood said. “Looking forward, this is what helps builds the program.”

There was a variety of majors and experience levels – ranging from those with no experience to some who’ve already been enlisted – represented in the 32 cadets, Flood said.

First-year medical biology major Mariah Volesky, who enlisted when she was 17, was formerly stationed in Fort Jackson until she received the Minuteman Scholarship.

The Minuteman Scholarship allows Volesky to stay in the ROTC and attend school. Instead of re-enlisting, the scholarship requires that she only be a part of the National Guard following graduation.

“A lot of the upperclassmen, and higher MS1s, already kind of have their friends and they trust each other for when it comes to these field exercises,” she said regarding the training. “It is a good way to integrate all of the MS1s and it gets you to know your battle buddies better and learn that you can trust them.”

ROTC Field Training Exercise

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