Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ballad of the Green Berets

0530-wake up shower get dressed
0630-in formation for roll
0635-“today we will be learning how to deploy the Claymore mine, effective anti-personnel killzone range 25m, maximum range 250m
0645 Boom! Claymore goes off
0650 “now we will teach you how to lay an ambush on a linear danger area (read road) The brunt of this assault will be the deployment of a claymore mine on enemy troops…Once the mine goes off, the entire squad should open fire nonstop for 15 seconds until you here the SL’s whistle. Understood? HOAH!
0700 the team walks through and executes the mission successfully laying ambush with claymore mine and rifle squad to two enemy soldiers

That was my morning. ROTC lab day. The day when Drake University is made to feel like Iraq. Before the sun is up about 20 students are in ACU, (Army Combat Uniform: the army camouflage) equipped with Vietnam era packs for ammo canteens, helmets and m-16s. Their weapons, the M-16s are referred to as Rubber Duckies. They are not actual weapons, they do not fire. In fact there are no moving parts, but they look feel and weigh to the exact replications of the current M-16s carried into combat.
This class trains officers out of students. Imagine another club or a Professional Fraternity (as both men and women are encouraged) but while other groups may be nursing a hangover on Friday morning, this group is standing in formation, screaming out cadences as they bound around the track. I have the distinct pleasure of participating and getting know these future warriors. There are 2 phases to ROTC. The basic phase, which is what I am in, is a non-binding trial period. The goal of the program is train officers. When my companions graduate they will be put in legal and moral responsibility for forty soldiers of the United States Army, Reserve and/or National Guard. Therefore they will not take just anyone. Hence the trial period, to make sure the student is right for the Army, and the Army is right for the student.
On Monday Tuesday Wednesday and Friday the ROTC cadets lead regular students in work outs to train for the APFT (army Physical Readiness Test) non-stop 2 minutes of push ups, another 2 minutes of sit ups and a timed two mile run, all before 7 am. This class gives the students the opportunity to get in shape, and the future officers the chance to lead.
US ARMY ROTC: Students into Officers
Any questions, check out http://www.drake.edu/rotc/

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