UT-Martin ROTC cadets completed a challenging Field Training Exercise (FTX) to help prepare ten Military Science III cadets (juniors) for their summer training at Fort Lewis, Washington.
The training started at 3:00 AM Saturday morning and lasted until 4 PM that afternoon. Land navigation was the first event where the cadets gained valuable training in navigating in the dark. Every cadet passed this event.
Then after a quick meal of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), the cadets went into the tactical portion of training. This included everything from taking out bunkers to reacting to an ambush.
This type of training is done with paintball guns to help cadre determine casualties. Once wounded or killed, the cadets had to simulate actions they would do to provide first aid, etc. The freshman and sophomore cadets were the opposing forces.
Their aggressive ambushes and counterattacks made for some very interesting events. Everyone had fun and gained some valuable skills. The MS IV level cadets (the seniors) conducted all the coordination and developed the plan for training.
The day ended with a tough 5-mile foot march with a 25-pound ruck sack. Most cadets said they had no problems sleeping that night!