While their fellow students attended events on campus such as the pep rally and football game last weekend, Notre Dame’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) members participated in a weekend of training exercises at Michigan’s Fort Cluster. The weekend was a valuable experience for all members of the ROTC, especially for the juniors as they prepare to attend “Leadership Development Assessment Course,” the ROTC’s biggest summer evaluation, said Jim Hasson, a Notre Dame senior and ROTC cadet. “The purpose of the training was to build basic military attributes among the underclassmen and to further develop the leadership attributes of upperclassmen, particularly the juniors,” he said. Each grade level of ROTC participants was assigned a different role within the training session, Hasson said. The senior class taught classes on basic skills and tactics that were to be used in the field. To build their leadership skills, the junior class led the squads on field missions. The sophomores and the freshmen took part in the program led by the upperclassmen to learn important skills and leadership. Hasson said the weekend included training exercises with individual missions for each cadet to complete, such as day and night navigation. During the night navigation operation, Hasson said each ROTC cadet received an eight-digit grid location at 10 p.m. For the next three hours, each cadet was expected to navigate to five different grid locations using only a compass and map. Hasson said the students also completed squad level tactics training, which involved groups of 11 or 12 cadets working together on skills such as movement and contact, squad attack, reconnaissance operations and ambush attacks. Hasson said the training weekend was successful overall. “Over the course of the weekend, all participants showed great developments in both their tactical skills and leadership styles while keeping a positive attitudes,” he said.
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