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

Fighting Eagles Cadets End April with Strong Virtual Training Performances

Physical Training

With the continuation of the Washington State stay-at-home order, ROTC activities for the “Fighting Eagles” Cadets at Eastern Washington University have continue to be conducted over virtual platforms.   Our physical training (PT) activities are conducted over the Zoom app.  Responsibility for conducting PT shifted this week to our second year (MS-II) Cadets conducting the conditioning drills with third year (MS-III) Cadets providing oversight.

Roble and Burnside
EWU Army ROTC Cadets, Olivia Roble (left) and Adam Burnside (right) lead physical training conditioning drills over the Zoom app.

After the conclusion of the Zoom portion of PT the Cadets have been continuing to track their mileage on Strava.  A unit competition on Strava has been initiated between each class the and the Cadre to determine who can log the most mileage this quarter.  Here are the current standings:

  • MS-I Class: 198.6 miles
  • MS-II Class: 577.44
  • MS-III Class: 936.5
  • MS-IV Class: 821.6
  • Cadre: 629.2

Military Science Classes

The weekly Military Science curriculum is all being held online as well.  The classes are taught over Zoom with presentation slides, assignments, and quizzes presented over the university’s Canvas software.  Online training may not be as effective as in person classes, but our Military Science instructors have put in maximum effort to make the online classes as organized and effective as possible at training our Cadets.

MS-IV Cadet, Andreas Brazier gives a brief about improvements to Infantry weapon systems inside the Brigade Combat Team over the Zoom app.

Leadership Labs

This week’s virtual Leadership Lab continued to be conducted over the Fortnite software.  The platoons each executed specific tactical training in customized virtual worlds created by the EWU ROTC Cadre.  1st Platoon was assessed on Movement to Contact and Attack battle drills, 2nd Platoon was assessed on Ambush and Defense battle drills, and 3rd Platoon was assessed on Recon and Raid battle drills.  Despite using gaming software, the Cadets have maintained professionalism throughout the labs as they train on using the tactical skills they learned earlier in the year on this virtual platform. The Cadets have been responding favorably to this innovative approach to training which is allowing them to conduct hands on practice of their tactical skills without relying on Powerpoint presentations that make up the vast majority of online training.

Despite the limitations caused by the current pandemic, EWU Army ROTC leadership is committed to providing the highest quality training possible to prepare our Cadets to become future Army leaders.  If you want to explore a Military Science course, it is still possible to sign up for ROTC this Spring Quarter.  If you are interested in joining us in one of our virtual classes, physical training workouts, or Leadership Labs please contact us using this link or email us at to learn more.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags!  

EWU Army ROTC Cadets Use Virtual Gaming Software to Train on Military Tactics

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much change in the lives of people around the country to include here at Eastern Washington University (EWU).  In response to the pandemic all classes for Spring Quarter have been moved online to include the entire Military Science curriculum.  One of the biggest characteristics of being an Army officer is to be adaptable to changing conditions and the “Fighting Eagles” Cadets of the EWU Army ROTC program are learning that first hand right now.

Cadet Christian Goldbach logs into the Fortnite software to prepare for his weekly Leadership Lab. As an evaluator Cadet Goldbach has his Ranger Handbook and other documents ready to train assess Cadets during the lab.

Physical Training

This first major adaption has been with the unit’s physical training program (PT).  The ROTC program’s mandatory PT sessions are held on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings.  To keep a sense of normalcy, the ROTC Cadre has kept the PT schedule the same during the pandemic, however the Cadets meet up in a virtual Zoom classroom each morning.

Morning PT
Cadet Beier briefs the morning PT session over Zoom.

Two Cadets are assigned to lead each PT session for the other Cadets to follow along with over their smartphones.  After the completion of the warmup exercises they then brief the workout plan for each Cadet to complete that day that is also posted on social media:

After the completion of the workout the Cadets then log the workout on to the Strava app. Strava gives the program the ability to track the total distances and times of the exercises for each Cadet.

Strava App

Leadership Labs

Another challenge the program faced was being able to conduct Leadership Labs in a way that would still give Cadets the ability to practice platoon level tactics and leadership.  During Spring Break the EWU Army ROTC Cadre experimented with a number of first person gaming platforms to determine one that would best virtually replicate a Leadership Lab.  It was decided that the Fortnite software was the best one to handle the large number of Cadets and give the Cadre the flexibility to build virtual worlds to replicate the terrain the Cadets train in during standard Leadership Labs.

In the first two weeks, Fighting Eagles Cadets have familiarized themselves with the program and conducted a Platoon Formations and Order Of Movement (FOOM) training, practiced actions when crossing a Linear Danger Areas (LDA), and Actions on Contact (AoC).

Signs in the game direct Cadets to start point of their next training lane just like in real life.

Cadets assault through an objective.

The Cadets are divided up into three different platoons and enter their assigned virtual world accompanied by a cadre member and a MS-IV Cadet evaluator to guide and assess them.  Inside the virtual world the Cadets are evaluated on how they perform their movements and tactics as if they were in the real world.  During the lab the Cadets communicate with each other through the Discord app.  This allows Cadets in leadership positions to perform their Troop Leading Procedures (TLP’s) and give out orders during the platoon training lanes.

The current pandemic has created a challenging training environment, but part of leadership is overcoming adversity.  Former General of the Army, George C. Marshall understood this very well:

The lack of equipment, the lack of food, the lack of this or that are only excuses; the real leader displays his quality in his triumphs over adversity, however great it may be.”
General of the Army George C Marshall, and former Secretary of State & Secretary of Defense

Despite the limitations caused by the current pandemic, EWU Army ROTC leadership is committed to providing the highest quality training possible to prepare our Cadets to become future Army leaders.  If you want to explore a Military Science course, it is still possible to sign up for ROTC this Spring Quarter.  If you are interested in joining us in one of our virtual classes, physical training workouts, or Leadership Labs please contact us using this link or email us at to learn more.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags!  

EWU Army ROTC Announces Virtual Training Plan for Spring Quarter 2020

COVID-19 letter

To all of our Eastern Washington University Army ROTC Cadets, below is a letter that addresses the way ahead for Spring Quarter instruction.  Please stay tuned to our website and social media channels for future updates on Spring Quarter instruction.

A PDF copy of this letter can be downloaded at this link.

Winter Field Training Exercise Challenges Fighting Eagles Cadets on Squad Based Operations

By: Cadet Marcos Sanchez

On March 5th through the 7th, Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) “Fighting Eagles” battalion conducted their second Field Training Exercise (FTX) of the 2019-2020 school year.  The purpose of this FTX was to test the Cadets knowledge of squad and fire team operations in order to prepare them for Cadet Summer Training or CST. The training started on March 5th with the conduction of the FTX prep lab. This lab was used to jump start Cadets’ minds into thinking tactically for the upcoming challenges. This was done by having each squad conduct pre-combat checks and pre-combat inspections (PCCs and PCIs), as well as solidifying Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and lastly taking a quiz on basic individual and squad information.

EWU Army ROTC Cadet, Rebekah Hardin takes a test prior to deploying to the field for the annual Winter FTX.

On March 6th Cadets arrived at Cadet Hall on EWU campus around 1400 in order to get any last-minute packing or planning done.  They had an hour to complete all these task before the buses came and brought them to training site Water Works where they conducted the day and night land navigation courses.

Cadet Kaitlynn Taylor prepares her gear before deploying to the Cheney Waterworks Training Area.

The third and last day of the Field Training exercise was the longest day of them all with the Cadets’ day starting at 0400.  After accountability and pre-combat checks, the Cadets were issued their M4 rifles and M249 machines plus blank ammunition for the FTX. Using real rifles with blank ammunition adds greatly to the realism of the training event.

Nelson Hergert
Cadet Nelson Herget mans his fighting position with his M249 machine gun during the Winter FTX.

the Cadets assembled at the Cheney Waterworks Training Area for squad training lanes.  At last year’s Winter FTX the Cadets trained in challenging wintry conditions with deep snow covering the training site.  This year the weather would be different, but still have challenging conditions with a persistent cold rain for nearly the entire day.

Pictures from the EWU Army ROTC Winter FTX
Cadet Caleb Geringer conducts squad operations during the Winter FTX.

Valentino Olmstead
Cadet Valentino Olmstead is deep in thought as he endures the rain.

There were five lanes that the MS-III Cadets were tested on; the first was movement to contact, which the squad leader was informed that enemies were in the vicinity of a certain area. It was their job to plan a patrol in which they would take contact with the enemy and neutralize them using a pre-established battle drill. The second lane was a squad area defense. This helped the Cadets properly set a defensive position and learn how to utilize terrain to their advantage while being attacked by an enemy.

Casey Bowen
Cadet Casey Bowen conducts squad operations during the Winter FTX.

The third lane was a squad attack, which is similar to the movement to contact lane, but the precise enemy location is known, and it is the squad’s goal to initiate contact first. The fourth lane was squad ambush. In this scenario the enemy was known to have high foot traffic through a certain area, the Cadets were to cut them off by a certain time in order to minimize the enemy’s presence. The last lane was squad recon. Cadets were told that an unknown number of enemies were holding a position. The squad leader was then told to gather information on the enemy in order to solidify their numbers and possible intent. They did this by sending out recon and surveillance teams as well as security and observation. The recon and surveillance team’s job was to get eyes on the enemy from multiple vantage positions in order to gather intelligence; all while not being seen.

Cadet Cesar Guzman was one of the Opposing Force (OPFOR) members that the squads had to engage during the Winter FTX.

Cadets Sarah Mullen and Jazmin Castrejon were members of the OPFOR team during the Winter FTX.

With freezing cold temperatures and constant missions, the EWU ROTC Cadets where tested both physically and mentally during the Winter FTX. This training is used to prepare our MS-III Cadets for Advance Camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky this summer. Advanced Camp is a requirement for all MS-III Cadets to pass in order to commission as Army officers. The 37-day Advanced Camp is why the Fighting Eagles battalion conducts challenging training to prepare the MS-III Cadets as much as possible to excel at camp.

Corina Lindsey
Cadet Corina Lindsey flashes a smile during the Winter FTX.

Next quarter the Fighting Eagles Cadets will focus more on much larger platoon operations to further prepare our Fighting Eagles Cadets to excel at Advanced Camp.  EWU Army ROTC has a great track record of Cadets receiving high scores at Advanced Camp, which is made possible by the hard work and training achieved during weekly leadership labs and quarterly FTX’s.  The upcoming Spring Quarter will bring on new training challenges for the Fighting Eagles Cadets.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags! 

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

Final picture of all the trainees at the Cheney Waterworks prior to redeployment back to Cadet Hall.

Day #1 of EWU Army ROTC Winter Field Training Exercise Tests Cadets on Land Navigation

Over the weekend the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) “Fighting Eagles” battalion conducted its annual Winter Field Training Exercise (FTX).  The first day of the exercise featured the Cadets gathering at Cadet Hall to conduct inspections of their equipment before deploying to the Cheney Waterworks Training Area via bus.

EWU Army ROTC Cadets stand in formation outside of Cadet Hall.

EWU Army ROTC Cadets march to the buses parked outside of Cadet Hall.

EWU Army ROTC Cadet, Kyle Collins steps off the bus at the Cheney Waterworks Training Area.

Once at the Cheney Waterworks Training Area, the Cadets immediately began their first training event of the Winter FTX, a daytime land navigation assessment.  Cadets were given four grid locations that they then had to plot on their maps and then use their compasses and pace counts to navigate to.  The land navigation course was meant to be significantly more difficult than past lessons by having points significantly farther apart from one another so Cadets were forced to put more thought into planning a route.  To pass the daytime land navigation assessment the Cadets had to find at least 3 of the 4 points they were given.

Cadet First Sergeant Hunter Smith holds formation at the Cheney Waterworks Training Area.

Cadet William Chamberlin plots his point during the daytime land navigation assessment.

Cadet Cierra Neumann finds a land navigation point.

The course challenged the Cadets’ land navigation fundamentals that they have learned throughout the academic year at leadership labs.  After eating a dinner consisting of Army Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) the Cadets waited until dark to begin the night land navigation assessment which would prove to be even harder.  For this assessment each Cadet was given 3 points to plot on their map and navigate to in the darkness.  Each Cadet had to successfully find 2 of the 3 points to pass the test.

Cadet Christopher Millward plots grid points on his map using a red head lamp.

Cadet Taylor Stitch reports into the tactical operations center to have his night land navigation assessment graded.

Mastering land navigation is an important skill for Cadets to learn because most of the Cadets will attend Advanced Camp during the summer between their Junior and Senior years in college. At Advanced Camp being able to successfully pass the land navigation course at Ft. Knox, Kentucky is required for all Cadets. The land navigation training offered by the EWU Army ROTC program ensures that Cadets are ready to succeed at Advanced Camp.  Our Cadets will conduct another land navigation assessment during the Spring FTX at Camp Seven Mile at Riverside State Park in May.  There the course will be even more expansive and feature a number of large hills to truly challenge the Cadets’ land navigation skills prior to attending summer training at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags!

Note: More pictures from the 2020 Winter FTX can be seen at our Flickr page link.