Ten EWU ROTC Cadets Earn 2018 Expert Fighting Eagle Badge

From 1-3 November, 2018 the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) battalion conducted its annual Expert Fighting Eagle Badge (EFEB) testing.  The EFEB test challenges Cadets to pass 5 mandatory events and 10 of 13 additional events in order to wear the highly coveted EFEB badge on their Cadet uniforms.

The Expert Fighting Eagle Badge

This third year of EFEB testing saw 65 Cadets attempt to earn the badge.  Each event was organized, executed, and evaluated by Cadets that had previously been awarded the EFEB.  The first event was the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) conducted at Roos Field on the morning of November 1st.  It is a mandatory requirement for the Cadets to pass the APFT to be eligible to be awarded the EFEB.

EWU ROTC Cadets take the APFT at Roos Field on November, 1, 2018.

The rest of the day on Thursday featured one last train up for all the Cadets on various skills before testing on all the events over the next two days.

Cadet Melinda Leen (center) gives train up EFEB briefing to EWU ROTC Cadets.

Cadet Tyler Roylance briefs EWU ROTC Cadets on how to assemble an M4 rifle.

On Friday, November 2nd the actual testing began.  Before conducting the EFEB test the Cadets geared up and put on their camouflage face paint.

EWU ROTC ready to conduct Expert Fighting Eagle Badge testing. 

The first EFEB tests were held at Cadet Hall.  The tests included:

  • ASIP Radio procedures
  • SALUTE Report
  • M4 Assembly/Disassembly
  • M240 Assembly/Disassembly
  • M249 Assembly/Disassembly
  • Hand and Arm Signals
  • Written Land Nav test

EWU Cadets take the written land navigation test.

Cadets Liam Hewey (left) and Isabelle Erickson (right) take the written land navigation test.

Cadet Jazmin Castrejon conducts weapons assembly/disassembly testing.

Cadet Everett Kuhnel conducts weapons assembly while Cadet Coy Odiorne watches (right).

Cadet Libby Glover (left) is tested on Hand and Arm Signals.

Cadet Megan Baker conducts the ASIP radio test.

After completing the testing of events at Cadet Hall the EWU ROTC Cadets then moved out to the woodlands located at the Cheney Waterworks.  After setting up camp the Cadets then bed down for the night in the forest to rest up for the next day’s activities.

Command post tent in the woodlands of the Cheney Waterworks.

Cadets warm up by the fire at the camp at the Cheney Waterworks.

At 0330 in the morning on Saturday, November 2nd the Cadets were woken up to get ready to execute night land navigation.  To pass the night land navigation event each Cadet had to successfully find 3 of 4 points within a two hour timeframe.  Night land navigation was one of the mandatory events that Cadets had to pass to be awarded the EFEB.

Cadet Andrew Norby briefs a terrain model of the night land navigation course prior to the event.

Cadets Kyle Stanton and Carly Garland grade night land navigation results in the command post tent.

After each event, Cadet Erling Anderson inputted scores into a specially designed database that provided instant scoring feedback. 

EWU ROTC Cadets warm up by the fire after completing night land navigation.

After the Cadets completed night land navigation they then were able to eat an egg and sausage burrito breakfast cooked up by the EWU ROTC Cadre.

Assistant Professor of Military Science, Captain Gregory Benjamin cooks up eggs for breakfast for the Cadets.

After completing night land navigation and eating breakfast, the Cadets then conducted their day land navigation testing.  For day land navigation they had to find 4 of 5 points to pass the event.  Day land navigation was another mandatory event that had to be passed to be awarded the EFEB.

EWU Cadet plots points during day land navigation.

EWU ROTC Cadet finds a point on the day land navigation course.

After day land navigation the Cadets then conducted a hand grenade course.  The Cadets had to successfully throw simulated hand grenades at three targets of various distances to pass the event.

Cadet Everett Kuhnel throws a grenade. 

Cadet Amayia Roberts throws a grenade. 

The next station the Cadets were tested on was the Tactical Combat Casualty Care lane.  Cadets had to successfully evaluate and properly treat injuries to pass the event.

Cadet Jameson Palmer evaluates a casualty. 

Cadet Olivia Roble evaluates a casualty.

The final lane at the Cheney Waterworks was the individual movement techniques lane.  Cadets had to successfully demonstrate proficiency in tactical movement techniques to pass the lane.

Cadet Samantha Knight conducts the individual movement techniques lane.

Cadet Hayley Primm low crawls at the Cheney Waterworks.

After completing the training at the Cheney Waterworks, the Cadets then had to complete a 6-mile road march back to Cadet Hall.  Completing the road march was another mandatory event that had to be passed.

EWU ROTC Cadets prepare to conduct the 6-mile road march.

Cadets Carly Garland and Hayley Primm conduct the 6-mile road march.

Cadet Josiah Bryan conducts the 6-mile road march.

Cadet Destin Garcia gives a thumbs up during the 6-mile road march.

Cadet Candace Madriaga smiles during the 6-mile road march.

After completing the road march the Cadets then had to successfully cross over the monkey bars outside of Cadet Hall, then climb over two walls, and then climb a rope.

Cadet Josiah Bryan crosses the monkey bars.

Cadets conduct the wall and ropes course below Cadet Hall.

Following the completion of the EFEB testing an award ceremony was held at Cadet Hall to recognize the Cadets that achieved all the standards for the EFEB.  Demonstrating how difficult it is to receive the Expert Fighting Eagle Badge, out of 65 Cadets only 10 met all the standards to be awarded the badge.  The Cadets that received the badge were:

  • Jameson Palmer (True Red)
  • Cesar Guzman
  • Chad Triplett
  • Christopher Milward
  • Austin Pfennig
  • Valentino Olmstead
  • Marcos Sanchez (True Red)
  • Kyle Isaacson
  • Hunter Smith (True Red)
  • Jacob Villasenor (True Red)

Of the ten awardees four of them received “True Red” status by receiving “Go’s” in every event during the testing.

(Back row from left to right: Jameson Palmer, Cesar Guzman, Chad Triplett, Christopher Milward, Austin Pfennig.  Front Row from left to right: Valentino Olmstead, Marcos Sanchez, Kyle Isaacson, Hunter Smith, and Jacob Villasenor.)

The 2018 EFEB pass percentage of 15% is typical of past years which shows how hard it is to receive the badge.  Cadets typically need 2-3 years in the ROTC to build up the skills necessary to receive the badge.  The EWU ROTC Cadre is extremely proud of all 65 Cadets that tested for the EFEB and offers a big congratulations to the ten Cadets awarded the badge.

Go Fighting Eagles! 

The Easterner Features Article About EWU ROTC Blood Drive Partnership

One of our Eastern Washington University (EWU) ROTC Cadre members, Captain Nicholas Carbaugh recently had an article published in the Easterner about the on campus Blood Drive our unit recently assisted with sponsoring:

The cadets pictured are 13 of the 17 cadets that donated blood during the blood drive. Top left to right: Ian House, Jazmin Castrejon, Megan Anderson, Crystal Cruz, Emma Latour, Melinda Leen, Austin Pfennig. Bottom left to right: Ethan Smart, Devante Hall, Erling Anderson, Thomas Luce, Christopher Millward, James Tallakson

The EWU ROTC and Vitalant, formerly known as Inland Northwest Blood Center, partnered to host a blood drive on Oct. 18 on the EWU campus.

Vitalant brought two blood mobiles, each staffed with six personnel and capable of collecting blood donations from six donors at a time.  The blood drive collected 97 red blood cell units and 1 plasma unit, surpassing our goal of 80 total units donated and making this the largest blood drive on campus since 2015.

The blood drive was truly a communal event, receiving donations from students,  faculty and staff, ROTC Cadets and community residents.

“Every day we need about 200 donors to support our local community,” Brooke Lively, the Vitalant Event Coordinator said. “This event provides approximately 80 units of blood, out of the 200 we need every day to support our local hospitals. As we get into the holiday season when our donations drop off a bit, having an event like this where we can supply that huge donation makes it possible for us to be prepared for emergency situations.  It also makes us able to still do regular procedures like chemotherapy and surgeries.”

EWU ROTC has been supporting an annual blood drive at the EWU campus since 1963.  [The Easterner]

You can read the rest at the link, but as the article mentions, the EWU ROTC program has at least been sponsoring an on campus blood drive since 1963.  The below image is from the 1963 Eastern Washington University yearbook that shows Cadets from 55 years ago participating in a blood drive:

Overall it was an awesome event that it was great see so many of our Cadets keeping alive a tradition began over 50 years ago by the EWU ROTC program.

Go Fighting Eagles!

EWU ROTC Hosts 50th Anniversary Reunion at Cadet Hall

On Saturday October 27, 2018 the Eastern Washington University ROTC program had the privilege of hosting the 50th anniversary reunion of graduates from the class of 1968 and 1969.  30 graduates from the EWU ROTC program and their family members attended the reunion event sponsored by the EWU Alumni Association.  The day’s activities began with first watching the EWU football team wins its homecoming game against the University of Idaho, 38-14.  During the game the 50th anniversary graduates were able to see current EWU ROTC Cadets participate in Cannon Crew in support of the home football team.

Following the football game the reunion participants then moved over to Cadet Hall where the EWU ROTC program is based out of.  Cadet Hall is the same building that the reunion members participated in ROTC back in 1968.

Inside of the building they were able to view the various pictures and historical displays.

After touring the building the participants then had a catered dinner in the building’s shooting range area.

The ROTC program’s shooting range is named after retired Major General Ken Privratsky.

MG Privratsky was a 1969 graduate of the program who attended the reunion with his wife Kathy:

At the dinner reunion members and their family members had a chance to socialize with current ROTC Cadets as well as each other.  Some of the reunion members had not seen each other in 50 years.

During the barbecue dinner the current Professor of Military Science (PMS) Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Stafford addressed the gathering about the current status of the university’s ROTC program:

We at the EWU ROTC program really hope that everyone had a fantastic time at the reunion and it was a great honor to host it at our historic Cadet Hall.  Below are more pictures from the reunion.  A big thank you to EWU ROTC alumni, Mr. Jerry Mellick for taking and sharing the photos with everyone.

Go Fighting Eagles!


EWU ROTC Cadets Volunteer to Support Harvest Fest 2018

Harvest Fest in an annual trick-or-treating event put on by Eastern Washington University’s Office of Community Engagement.  The event was a chance for families to safely come together on campus and celebrate Halloween.  For Harvest Fest this year 5x ROTC Cadets served as student volunteers to lead children on a trick-or treating tour around campus.  The kids visited the JFK Library, Showalter, Sutton, Martin, Williamson, Tawanka and Hargreaves Halls to receive candy.  Great job by Cadet volunteers and a happy Halloween to all the Cadets, Cadre, friends, and family of the EWU ROTC program.

Go Fighting Eagles!

From left to right: Cadets Liam Hewey, Chad Triplett, Ian House, Mindy Leen, and Megan Anderson.

Commanding General of US Army Cadet Command Announces Strategy to Grow the Officer Corps

The US Army Cadet Command (USACC) Commanding General, Major General John Evans recently published his strategy to ensure that the US Army’s ROTC programs are commissioning enough officers to meet demand:

Major General John Evans

The Army may have missed its recruiting goal this year, but the head of Army Cadet Command said he remains confident in officer accession.

Maj. Gen. John Evans, who is also the commanding general of Fort Knox, Ky., said there have been challenges – such as low nationwide unemployment, which means increased competition for top talent – but the officer corps is strong. By 2020, leaders hope to have 6,000 new second lieutenants filtering into positions.

“While there’s always a concern about growing the officer corps and whether you can get the right number of qualified candidates, I feel very comfortable right now that we are on the glide path to making our mission in the out years,” he said.

Here are four ways Evans is working to grow the officer corps.  [Military Officer Association of America]

MG Evans strategy has four points:

  1. Reaching the 2020 Goal
  2. Building Up JROTC Groups
  3. Reaching Out to Students Who Miss the Cut for West Point
  4. Calling on Retired Officers

You can read the details for each point at the link.