Fighting Eagles Cadets on the Defensive During Weekly Leadership Lab

knight and camacho

By: Cadet Marcos Sanchez

On the 27th of February 2020, Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) Cadets once again traveled out to training site “Waterworks” to conduct the eighth lab of the Winter quarter. The purpose of this lab was to have the MS3, Junior grade, Cadets demonstrate their ability to conduct area and perimeter defense to standard. Not only will this help them excel at the upcoming Winter Field Training Exercise (FTX) but it will also help them at Advanced Camp this upcoming summer at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.

EWU Army ROTC Cadets prepare to conduct Leadership Lab and the Cheney Waterworks training area.

In order to maximize the efficiency of the allotted time for training, Cadet Christian Goldbach, the officer in charge, had the MS3 Cadets also conduct missions with Recon and Surveillance (R&S) and Listening Post Observation Post (LPOP) teams. These are two tactics that will be used often at camp and practicing them will help them tremendously. The purpose of the R&S teams is to identify any threats in an area of interest and report the information back to the main element. The LPOP is similar to the R&S team but serves as a patrol bases early warning system. They stay out a good distance from the main element and report if any incoming threats are approaching all while remaining undetected.

Cadets in action
Cadets Jenna Knight and Gervacio Camacho overlook a potential enemy.

Throughout the training exercise Cadets were hit with indirect fire which forced them to call out a direction and distance in order to move their squad to a safe distance. This was only done if they were not meeting time restraints, but also helps with using their mental agility. This is a strategy that many Cadre use at camp in order to maintain timelines and disciplines such as noise and visibility. This all helps to give the MS3 class Cadets the most realistic training possible to prepare them for future upcoming field training exercises.

Third year Cadet, Valentino Olmstead directs his troops.

Note: You can view more images from the lab on our EWU ROTC Flickr page.

Leadership Lab Trains Cadets on Squad Operations

movement to contact

By: Cadet Marcos Sanchez

On February 13th 2020, Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) traveled out to Montague’s Farm, adjacent to the Cheney Campus, in order to refresh Cadets on basic squad operations. The squad operations training consisted of Attack, Movement to Contact (MTC) and Reacting to Indirect Fire (IDF). Cadet Cesar Guzman, the officer in charge (OIC) of planning the lab, did this by splitting up the lab into three iterations.

EWU Army ROTC Cadets train in the fields of the Montague’s Farm property adjacent to the EWU campus.

The first iteration was actions on contact leading into reacting to IDF. During the lane when the Cadets took contact from an enemy they were also hit with indirect fire which allows them to exercise their mental agility and maneuver the element to safety. The second iteration was an MTC exercise which is a search and destroy tactic. The purpose of an MTC is to move into an area where the enemy is known, take contact and then destroy the enemy using various tactics such as flanking. The third iteration was a squad attack which is similar to the MTC but in this case the exact enemy location is known so the Cadets squad is the one who initiates the contact.

Isabelle Erickson
Cadet Isabelle Erickson directs her personnel to maintain security.

One of the Cadets conducting these lanes was Cadet Valentino Olmstead. The way he went about excelling at these tasks was by maintaining good communication with his team leaders. To Cadet Olmstead “communication is one of if not the most important part of controlling an element because without it, your subordinates don’t know what to do”. Another key process he used was After Action Reviews of AARs which allowed him to talk with his squad and figure out what went well and what could have been improved on.

Cadet Cesar Guzman directs personnel during the Leadership Lab.

This week’s lab was the last of the crawl phase when it comes to squad tactics during the Winter Quarter. What this means is that future labs will be held in the forested terrain of the Cheney Waterworks property.  The densely forested terrain will make commutation and line of sight more difficult compared to the Montague’s Farm property.  Overall the progressive training events will prepare the Cadets for the upcoming Winter Field Training Exercise (FTX). The FTX will test the Cadets over 24 straight hours on all the skills they have learned this quarter during leadership labs.  It will be a challenging training event that our Fighting Eagles Cadets will undoubtedly excel at.

Eagle Strong!  Go Fighting Eags!

Note:  More pictures from the lab can be seen below and a complete album of pictures can be seen at this link.

Snowy Weather Doesn’t Stop Fighting Eagles Cadets from Conducting Squad Movement Training

lab 5

On the 6th of February 2020, the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Fighting Eagles Battalion conducted squad movement techniques as well as Linear Danger Area (LDA) crossings at the Montagues Farm property adjacent to the EWU campus. Recent snow made the hilly wheat fields slick and muddy, but the Cadets still showed great motivation throughout the lab despite the conditions.

Cadets listen to training brief prior to the start of the lab.

Cadet Kuhnel pulls security during leadership lab training.

Cadets who had met previously with their assigned squad leaders, were able to apply what they’ve been learning in the classroom in a real-world environment. The movement formations being used were the squad file, squad line and squad column fire team wedge. The movement techniques, which are the method in which the formations are used, were traveling, traveling overwatch and bounding overwatch. These will be utilized in different situations depending on time restrictions, maneuverability, and if enemy contact is likely or not. It is ultimately up to the squad leader to determine which is used.

Cadet Roberts pauses during leadership lab training.

LDA’s come up when doing large movements. A few examples of these are power line areas, or even large grassy fields where cover and concealment is limited. As leaders in the army, Cadets are required to know how to manage these areas without putting soldiers’ lives in harms way. These skills are also important for our Cadets to master to prepare them to excel at ROTC Advanced Camp held each summer at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.

Cadet Camacho takes the Oath of Enlistment to contract into ROTC.

Following the conclusion of the squad training the Fighting Eagles concluded the lab by conducting a contracting ceremony for Cadet Gervacio Camacho.  It was special moment for him to take the Oath of Enlistment with his mother on hand to place his EWU patch on his right shoulder sleeve signifying him as a contracted Cadet.  More pictures from the lab can be viewed at this link.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags!

Squad Based Special Teams Training Conducted By Fighting Eagles Cadets

By: Cadet Marcos Sanchez

On the 30th of January 2020, Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) Cadets were tested on their knowledge and proficiency of squad based, special team operations. These special team operations consist of Aid and Litter (A&L) and Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW) handling. A&L is a crucial task that must be performed accurately and efficiently, this team could be the line between life and death in real combat situations.

Isabell Erickson
Cadet Isabelle Erickson participates in squad operations training.

Proper handling of EPW’s is also vital for survival in live combat. Ensuring that the EPW is free of weapons that may cause harm to your squad is very important. Cadets are also instructed to search the prisoners for any priority intelligence information.

Evan Lien
Cadet Evan Lien moves during squad operation training.

On top of training the special teams, Cadets were also able to get hands on experience with the M240B. The M240B is one of the US Military’s crew serve machine guns. Cadets will be using this while at Advanced Camp and Basic Camp this summer.  That is why it is important for them to be proficient at mounting/dismounting it from a tripod, conduct a malfunction clearing, and loading rounds.

Isabell Pannell
Cadet Isabell Pannell learns to handle the M240 machine gun.

As the halfway mark of the quarter approaches, so does the winter field training exercise (FTX). During the FTX the MSIII class will be tested on their ability to lead a squad through multiple scenarios in a rigorous 24+ hour event.  You can see more pictures from the lab at this link.

Go Fighting Eags!

Fighting Eagles Cadets Learn Tactical Combat Casualty Care Skills

On January 23rd, 2020 Eastern Washington University (EWU) Fighting Eagles Battalion Cadets braved the elements in order to conduct the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3) lab. TC3 was created by the U.S. Department of Defense in order to teach soldiers life-saving techniques and strategies to be used on the battlefield or wherever necessary. Cadets will need to be proficient with these techniques when they become commissioned officers leading soldiers.

TC3 Lab
Cadet Lee (left) and Cadet Camacho (right) lead a group of cadets carrying a casualty.

Leg Injury
Cadet Everett Kuhnel applies a bandage to treat a simulated leg injury.

During the lab Cadets were first attacked by an opposing force (OPFOR) enemy.  This forced to Cadets to practice their react to contact battle drills. The steps included returning fire, getting to cover and shouting the distance, direction and description of the enemy (three D’s).  After the attack the Cadets were then given cards that explained what casualties they received.  The Cadets then had to demonstrate the TC3 skills they learned to administer first aid to themselves or their buddy.   During the leadership lab all 6 squads successfully completed the lanes and passed the TC3 evaluation.

Casualty Carry
Cadet Amayia Roberts practices how to carry a casualty.

As the winter quarter progresses, so does the curriculum in which these Cadets are submersed. They will move into the special teams portion of squad operations during next week’s leadership lab which includes clearing objectives, handling of enemy prisoners of war, and performing aid and litter. Although the weather may be grim this does not affect the Cadets moral in the least and motivation is at an all time high.

Go Fighting Eags!

EWU ROTC Cadets Learn How to Operate Tactical Radios

By: Cadet Marcos Sanchez

On the 16th of January 2020, Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) Cadets conducted various radio operational tasks. These tasks included assembly and disassembly of an ASIP radio, 9-line Medevac, and SALUTE reports. The Advanced Special Improvement Program or ASIP, is the primary means of communication between soldiers on the battlefield. The 9-line medevac report allows soldiers to call for an evacuation of wounded soldiers on the battlefield and the SALUTE report is an essential reconnaissance report all soldiers must be familiar with. Both of these reports are part of the testing that is conducted at both basic and advanced camp and are used throughout military careers.

Destin Garcia
Cadet Destin Garcia sends up a radio report.

In order to give the EWU ROTC Cadets the best training possible many steps were taken to simulate field conditions. In the SALUTE report lane cadets were instructed to low crawl to the edge of a hill in order to observe a fellow Cadet pretending to be an Opposing Force (OPFOR). This helps them practice noise discipline as well as individual movement techniques, which are both important in any combat situation. For the 9-line Medical Evacuation (Medevac) lane Cadets were given a strict time from when they received the scenario to when they called the report up. Both reports were sent using ASIP radios which allowed them to build confidence while using proper radio etiquette.

As EWU ROTC Cadets progress through the school year they will have to rely more and more on each other to complete tasks. Starting in fall quarter where they master individual skills to spring quarter where they will be in charge of completing platoon level tasks such as ambushes and raids. Cadet Burnside said, “working as a squad has been a great opportunity to bond even more with my fellow classmates.”

Cadet Adam Burnside sends up a radio report.

Burnside moved here from southern California and other than the weather adjustment, he attributes some of the ease of moving to the ROTC program saying that, “everyone is so nice, and it was really easy to make friends”. ROTC offers many scholarships which allow Cadets like Burnside to cover the cost of out-of-state tuition. As the weather gets colder this winter quarter Cadets will have to rely on each other to boost moral during future squad operations.  More pictures from this week’s leadership lab can be seen below.

Go ROTC!  Go Eags!

Cadet Liam Hewey participates in leadership lab training.

Cadets practice transcribing their radio report.

Josh Browning
Cadet Josh Browning learns how to assemble a tactical radio.

Christian Goldbach
Cadet Christian Goldbach assesses radio reports by trainees.

Destin Garcia reviews his study material during the leadership lab.

Cadet low crawl to an obscured position to observe enemy activity to make their radio report from.

Cadet Caleb Bullard writes down information to create his radio report.

Gervacio Camacho
Cadet Gervacio Camacho learns to operate a tactical radio.

Janu Lee
Cadet Janu Lee assembles a tactical radio.