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!

EWU Army ROTC Graduate and I Corps Commander, Lieutenant General Gary Volesky Retires After 36 Years of Military Service

The Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) extends its congratulations to the former I Corps Commanding General, Lieutenant General (LTG) Gary Volesky for his retirement from the U.S. Army after over 36 years of military service.

The I Corps Headquarters at Joint Base Lewis McChord.

I Corps headquarters sign from when LTG Volesky was in command.

LTG Volesky is a 1983 Distinguished Military Graduate from EWU and the highest ranking member of the university’s Military Science Hall of Fame.

Volesky plaque
LTG Volesky’s plaque in the Military Science Hall of Fame

LTG Volesky’s Change of Command with incoming I Corps Commander, LTG Randy A. George was held at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) on February 4, 2020.  The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Commander, General Robert Abrams and the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Commander, General Paul LaCamera both spoke during the ceremony.  General LaCamera additionally oversaw the symbolic passing of the guide on from LTG Volesky to LTG George.

LTG Volesky (left) marches into the Change of Command Ceremony with General LaCamera (center) and LTG George (right).  (Picture courtesy of Al Watson)

I Corps soldiers salute during the change of command ceremony. (Picture courtesy of Al Watson)

General LaCamera oversees the symbolic passing of the guide on between LTG Volesky and LTG George. (Picture courtesy of Al Watson)

LTG Gary Volesky speaks to audience during the I Corps Change of Command ceremony. (Picture courtesy of Al Watson)

Full video of the I Corps Change of Command can be viewed below:

LTG Volesky who is originally from Spokane, has had a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Army that began here at Eastern Washington University.  One of the plaques we still have hanging up in Cadet Hall recognized the then Cadet Volesky for his “Aggressiveness” back in 1983.

volesky plaque

We additionally have some old yearbooks in Cadet Hall where we have an image of LTG Volesky being commissioned into the rank of 2nd Lieutenant by the then EWU Army ROTC Professor of Military Science, Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Walter.

The then Cadet Gary Volesky (left) is commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1983 by EWU Army ROTC Professor of Military Science Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Walter.

From everyone at EWU Army ROTC we congratulate LTG Volesky on his retirement.  His over 36 years of committed service to the U.S. Army and our nation is remarkable.  He is truly an example of outstanding leadership for all our Cadets to aspire to.  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!

U.S. Army Cadet Command’s Senior Enlisted Leader Visits EWU’s Army ROTC Program

On January 22, 2020 the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program had the great honor of hosting Command Sergeant Major Mario Terenas who is the senior enlisted leader for all 274 ROTC programs across the nation in the U.S. Army Cadet Command.

CSM Mario Terenas does push ups with the Fighting Eagles Cadets.

During his visit to Eastern Washington University, CSM Terenas was able to conduct physical training and discuss leadership with our Cadets.  CSM Terenas was also able to recognize Captain Nick Carbaugh and Sergeant First Class David Ratliff for being selected as the 8th ROTC Brigade Instructors of the Year. He also recognized Cadets Cheyenne Sweet and Coy Odiorne for their outstanding performance on the new Army Combat Fitness Test.

CSM Mario Terenas recognizes Cadets Coy Odiorne and Cheyenne Sweet for their performance on the Army Combat Fitness Test.

He additionally was able to tour the ROTC facilities, take a campus tour, and visit with the EWU Provost, Dr. David May before concluding his visit with a lunch with the Cadets.  CSM Terenas is an inspiring leader who we thank for taking the time to travel from the Cadet Command headquarters at Ft. Knox, Kentucky to Cheney.  He is definitely an example of the “Don’t Be Average” mentality.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags!

CSM Terenas with ROTC Cadets
CSM Mario Terenas poses with the Fighting Eagles Cadets.