Photo Credit: Vincent Mallardi Story: ROTC Conducts Land Navigation At Fort Lee, Vincent Mallardi

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets visited Fort Lee to conduct annual land navigation training. This event tests cadet’s ability to find points in the woods using only a map, compass, and protractor. They must demonstrate proficiency during day and night conditions. 

This event is a requirement for cadets to commission as U.S. Army officers. Among other training requirements, cadets also must take several military leadership courses throughout their time in college. These topics of the classes range from military history to leadership command. 

The training event was both organized and led by senior cadets. Besides assisting with land navigation, they also taught several valuable skills. Cadets demonstrated how to apply face paint properly, how to camouflage with natural surroundings, and how to pack gear into a ruck so it’s easier to carry.

The Army prides itself on being adaptable. When COVID-19 first hit America, the military did not stop their training. Some of the cautionary steps include mask wearing, social distancing, testing, and now mandatory vaccines. Another cautionary step, specifically for ROTC, was that younger cadets were limited to training exercises outside of the classroom. Freshmen and sophomores all over the country were mostly unable to attend such training events. 

With an increase in those vaccinated and adaption to COVID-19, ROTC is able to be more flexible for training. This year for land navigation, cadets from each class were able to participate.

All of the ROTC classes and events are meant to ensure that cadets are fully prepared for Advanced Camp. This 31-day training event takes place in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Over 7,000 cadets from all over the country participate throughout the summer.

This training event is designed to test each cadet’s leadership ability. Throughout, cadets will participate in numerous activities such as basic rifle marksmanship and tactical combat casualty care. The last two weeks consist of a large-scale field training exercise (FTX). Cadets tactically sleep in the woods while conducting missions throughout the day and night. Some of these include react to fire, ambush, and raid. 

Junior Ian Novack described the benefit of allowing all cadets being able to participate in training events.

“I think it was a good event just for everyone to get that practice and get more familiar with it,” said Novack.

Sophomore Nathan Reynolds described how he felt more confident about going to Advanced Camp after this land navigation event. 

“Overall, it was very helpful, especially for me like kind of learning about camp and what’s going to go on and how things are going to work,” said Reynolds. 

The next training event for ROTC will be a fitness training test that will take place at Fort Lee in mid-October.

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