Eagles, Pirates, Bulldogs, & Coug Cadets Excel During the Operation Agile Leader FTX

From 2-5 April 2021 Cadets from the Fight Eagles and Bulldog Army ROTC Battalions deployed out to Camp Seven Mile, Washington to conduct Phase 2 of Operation Agile Leader (OAL).  The two battalions are composed of Cadets from Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, Whitworth University, and Washington State University-Spokane College of Nursing.  OAL was developed by U.S. Army Cadet Command to train senior Cadets on skills that were traditionally trained at Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky that was cancelled last summer due to the pandemic.  This skills are instead trained at the regional level with combined FTX’s with nearby ROTC programs.  Operation Agile Leader is the top priority this year for the U.S. Army Cadet Command.  Phase 1 of OAL was completed back in October 2020 and Phase II completes the remainder of the training tasks the Cadets missed by not attending Advanced Camp.

Individual Training

On the first day of the FTX the Fighting Eagles Cadets had a very early 4:45 AM formation at Cadet Hall to draw equipment and gear.  The Cadets then boarded buses at 5:30 AM to first go to Gonzaga University to draw weapons before one group departed to Camp Seven Mile and another to the Medical Lake Range.

EWU Army ROTC Cadets board a bus to depart for OAL training.

The The tasks for the Cadets at the range was to zero their M4 rifle and then qualify using the Army’s new marksmanship standards.  After the Cadets qualified they then had to attend Call For Fire Training (CFFT).  During this training the Cadets learned how to call in artillery fire on an enemy’s position.  After attending the training they than had to pass a practical exercise by calling in fire using a terrain model.

Cadets engage targets with their M4 rifles at the Medical Lake Range.

MAJ Baggot (GU) teaches the Call For Fire Training class.

Back at Camp Seven Mile the group of Cadets there conducted day land navigation training.  Each Cadet had to look for three points spread out over an extremely large wooded and hilly area. The Cadets had to successfully find 2 of the 3 points within the allotted time in order to pass the course.

Cadet Kayla Rambo from Whitworth University conducts day land navigation training.

Following the completion of the day land navigation course the Cadets that afternoon conducted grenade familiarization training.  During the training the Cadets learned how to hold, arm, and throw training hand grenades.

Cadets conduct hand grenade familiarization training.

Following the completion of this training the Cadets then conducted a buddy team fire and maneuver course.  During the course two Cadets would bound forward and fire their blanks at simulated enemies.  At the end of the course each Cadet then had to throw a hand grenade simulator at a bunker to try and destroy it.

A Cadet throws a simulator grenade at a bunker.

After completing this training the Cadets then moved into night land navigation.  During this training the Cadets had to find 2 points in the hilly and wooded terrain in complete darkness.  This is always the most challenging test for land navigation and the Cadets received great training on this course to prepare them for upcoming Advanced Camp training.

Cadets receive a safety briefing before departing on the night land navigation course.

Easter Service

Easter Sunday occurred during the OAL FTX.  Gonzaga University was able to support those who recognize Easter with a field service.  Father Dan Mai traveled out to Camp Seven Mile and set up a field ministry in the middle of the forest for Cadets to participate.  We appreciate Father Mai for supporting the Cadets during the OAL FTX.

Father Mai provides an Easter service to Cadets at the OAL FTX.

Father Mai provides a blessing during Easter services.

Platoon STX Lanes

For Days 3 & 4 the Cadets moved into the Platoon Situational Training Exercise (STX) lanes of the OAL FTX.  During these two days the Cadets were divided up into three platoons and had to conduct platoon level recon, ambush, attack, movement-to-contact, and defense lanes.  MS-IV Cadets that needed to complete their OAL requirements and MS-III Cadets attending Advanced Camp this summer filled into the key leadership positions.  The training in these leadership positions provided all them valuable experience for future training.

Cadets fire a crew served weapon during Operation Agile Leader training.

EWU Army ROTC Cadet, Josh Browning takes part in Platoon STX lanes during the OAL FTX.


Following the completion of Platoon STX lanes training the Cadets then reassembled at the major holding area to begin weapons cleaning.  Cleaning weapons is an important recovery activity after any FTX since the weapons are turned in to the Washington National Guard.

Cadets clean weapons at Camp Seven Mile.

After completing weapons cleaning, the Cadets then tore down the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) tents and prepped their gear for movement.  They then walked with their gear to the loading up point to take buses back to their respective universities.

Cadets load buses to return to their respective universities.


Overall the OAL #2 FTX was a fantastic training event for the Cadets that participated from all four universities.  Congratulations to all our MS-IV Cadets that received their Advanced Camp credit to commission as Army officers this year.  Additionally the FTX provided great training for all the MS-III Cadets that are heading off to Advanced Camp this summer.   Great job by all the Cadets involved who are clearly better prepare to succeed in ROTC than before the FTX.  Eagle Strong!

Note: You can view and download many more pictures from the FTX on our EWU Army ROTC Flickr page.

Fighting Eagles Cadets Conduct Communications and Reporting Lab

On January 14, 2021 the Fighting Eagles Cadets from the Eastern Washington University Army ROTC program conducted their second leadership lab of the Winter Quarter, the Communications and Reporting Lab.  During this training the Cadets were divided up into their three platoons in three different outdoor areas to mitigate COVID-19 infection.  They also wore masks and socially distanced to further mitigate COVID spread during the training.

Cadets stand in formation before the start of training.

Cadets prepare to start training.

The primary trainers for the lab were the MS-III (Junior) Cadets.  The lab gave them practice preparing and executing the training plan for the MS-I (Freshman) and MS-II (Sophomore) Cadets.

MS-III Cadet, Olivia Roble was one of the primary trainers during the Communications and Reporting Lab.

During the lab, the EWU ROTC Cadets rotated through three stations where they received instruction on how to operate the ASIP radio, perform a SALUTE report, and a situation report (SITREP).  During the first station each Cadet had the chance to put an ASIP radio together and set it up to the right channels and frequency to communicate with each other.  In the SALUTE report station, Cadets were placed on a hill overlooking a mock scene replicating an enemy position. The Cadets then had to use proper SALUTE procedures to report what they saw at the enemy position to their higher headquarters.

MS-IV Cadet, Christopher Millward demonstrates how to use the ASIPS radio.

The last station the Cadets were trained on was the SITREP station. Cadets were taking the SALUTE report they created at the last station and formed it into a SITREP. This report provides for detailed information for the chain of command. A SITREP is used for giving the commander a report of what their unit is seeing. These stations are bettering the Cadets to use proper communication with the ASIP radio and what reports to use on the radio system.

MS-III Cadet, Zachary Becker low crawls and rights down surveillance information for his SALUTE report.

During the upcoming Winter quarter labs, the Cadets will learn additional skills in addition to radio reporting to prepare them for squad operations training.  All the skills they are learning in the labs this quarter will culminate with executing the winter field training exercise (FTX) that is scheduled in March.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags! 

Note: Many more pictures from the training can be seen on our EWU Army ROTC Flickr page

U.S. Army Adds Two More Officers During 2020 EWU Army ROTC Fall Commissioning Ceremony

Fall 2020 EWU Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

On December 18, 2020 the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) “Fighting Eagles” battalion conducted its annual Spring commissioning ceremony. The ceremony is normally held in the historic Showalter Hall auditorium on the beautiful EWU campus. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions the ceremony was held at the EWU Fieldhouse and limited to a group of 10 people following required social distancing and masking requirements.  During the ceremony Cadets Andreas Brazier and Kylie Crooks were commissioned as Army officers.

The path to this day was not an easy one for the commissionees. All the Cadets conducted up to 4 years of military training in the ROTC program, had to meet rigorous academic requirements, build strong physical fitness, pass the 37-day long ROTC Advanced Camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, among a host of other challenging requirements before they could commission as a Second Lieutenant (2LT) in the U.S. Army.

EWU Army ROTC Recruiting and Operations Officer, Ms. Linda Moody narrates the Fall 2020 Commissioning Ceremony.

The ceremony was narrated by the EWU Army ROTC Recruiting and Operations Officer, Ms. Linda Moody and opening marks were given by the EWU Army ROTC Professor of Military Science, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Jonathan Stafford.

LTC Jonathan Stafford gives his opening remarks.

The first cadet to commission was Andreas Brazier who has graduated from EWU with a Political Science degree and a minor in Military Science.  He commissioned virtually over Zoom from his family’s home on the west side of Washington.  Andreas was a high performing Cadet that received the highest rating of “Outstanding” at Advanced Camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky and was one of our fittest Cadets by regularly maxing the Army Physical Fitness Test.  He was also a member of the Ranger Challenge team that finished second during last year’s regional competition; Eastern’s highest finish in 20 years.  Andreas received his first branch choice and will serve in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer.  The oath of office was administered by his friend Captain David Herron, United States Marine Corps.

2LT Brazier receives his officer oath of enlistment.

He was pinned his rank by his mother Lisah Moegling.

2LT Brazier receives a hug after being pinned his rank by his mother.

His best friend Tim Trainer, Private First Class, United States Army gave 2nd Lieutenant Brazier his first salute.

Congratulations to 2nd Lieutenant Andreas Brazier.

2LT Andreas Brazier

The second Cadet to commission was Kylie Crooks who graduated from both EWU and Washington State University College of Nursing in Spokane.  Cadet Crooks is a high performing Cadet who is also a member of the U.S. Army Reserve where she drives tugboats for a Transportation Company in Tacoma.  Now as a commissioned officer she has branched into the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.  During her time in EWU Army ROTC, Kylie has received many awards and scholarships to include receiving the 2019 Randy Van Turner ROTC Scholarship and the newly established 2020 Citizen Soldier Scholarship.  She also received the highest rating of “Outstanding” at ROTC Advanced Camp and was recognized this year with the Major General Barbara R. Holcomb Army Nurse Cadet Excellence Award.

Table with awards for Cadet Crooks.

This award recognized 2nd Lieutenant Crooks as the top nursing Cadet in the 8th ROTC Brigade that covers all 30 ROTC programs across the West Coast and Inland Northwest of the United States.  For winning the award she was presented with a stethoscope during the ceremony.

The Major General Barbara R. Holcomb Army Nurse Cadet Excellence Award presented to 2nd Lieutenant Kylie Crooks.

The oath of office was administered to 2nd Lieutenant Crooks’ by her uncle Captain Matt Crooks, who is an officer in the United States Army Nurse Corps.

Her 2nd Lieutenant rank was pinned by her mother Marianne and father Jarrod Crooks.

2nd Lieutenant Crooks’ parents pin her new rank.

Tyler Crooks, Airman First Class United States Air Force and 2nd Lieutenant Crooks’ brother rendered the first salute.

2LT Crooks’ brother rendered the first salute.

Congratulations to 2nd Lieutenant Kylie Crooks.

2nd Lieutenant Crooks signs her commissioning contract.

2nd Lieutenant Kylie Crooks the Army’s newest nursing officer.

EWU Army ROTC thanks the university Provost office for approving the hosting of this small ceremony at the Fieldhouse.  Even a small ceremony with risk mitigation measures in place made this a special event for the Cadet.  We also thank all the friends, family, alumni, and guests that viewed the ceremony over Zoom.  We hope to see you all in-person in the near future once the pandemic conditions improve.  We also thank the EWU Veterans Resource Center for providing the veteran coins and honor cords for graduation that was given to each new lieutenant.  Finally one more congratulations to both of our new 2nd Lieutenants, we are all so very proud of you.  Eagle Strong!

Note: Pictures from the ceremony can be downloaded at our EWU Army ROTC Flickr page.

Fighting Eagles Cadet Contracts into Army ROTC to Pursue A Masters Degree

Cadet Becker

Congratulations to Zachary Becker for being the latest Cadet to contract into ROTC. With his contracting Cadet Becker is activating a full tuition scholarship to EWU to pursue his Masters Degree in Accounting. He will also receive a $420 a month stipend and $1,200 annually for books to assist him financially on his path to receiving his Masters.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Stafford (right) the EWU Army ROTC Professor of Military Science gives the Oath of Enlistment to Cadet Zackary Becker (left).

We offer Masters degree scholarships that will pay for full tuition with no obligation to serve on active duty. Cadets have the option of serving in the National Guard or Reserves if they are looking to start a civilian career after the completion of their Masters degree. Get in contact with us at 509-359-6109 or rotc@ewu.edu to learn more. Go ROTC! Go Fighting Eags!

Cadet Zackary Becker salutes the American flag.

More pictures from the ceremony can be seen and downloaded from our EWU Army ROTC Flickr page.

Fighting Eagles Cadets Keep Stretch of Highway 904 Clean of Litter

This month Cadets from the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC) Fighting Eagle Battalion continued its participation in the Adopt-A-Highway program sponsored by the Washington State Department of Transportation.  On November 7, 2020 the Cadets cleaned a section of Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson Memorial Highway of debris and litter. The section of the road, also known as Highway 904, is located just north of Cheney in Four Lakes.

EWU Army ROTC Cadets pick up garbage along Highway 904 through Four Lakes, Washington.

The Cadets woke up early Saturday morning, donned their safety equipment, and drove to Four Lakes to begin the clean up.  The group then spread out over both sides of the highway to pick up any garbage they saw. Whether it was litter on the road or bulk garbage, EWU ROTC Cadets spent the next couple of hours cleaning up any trash in sight.

EWU Army ROTC Cadets Witcher (left) and Beier (right) pick up garbage along Highway 904.

Despite the chilly weather the Cadets ended the clean up in high spirits by helping keep the roadside through Four Lakes clean.  The Fighting Eagles battalion looks forward to continuing its partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation to maintain the cleanliness of this busy stretch highway for the local community

EWU Army ROTC Cadets (from left) Palmer, Becker, Watters, Lindsey, Schoup, Witcher, and Beier pose for a picture after completing the clean up of Highway 904 through Four Lakes.

Eagle Strong!

Throwback Thursday: Lieutenant Colonel Coonelly With A Big Smile in 1981

In this 1981 archive image, the former Professor of Military Science at Eastern Washington University, Lieutenant Colonel, Thomas Coonelly looks at and gives a big smile to a Cadet while checking a radio.  If any alumni have any stories to share about LTC Coonelly please share them in the comments section.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags!