University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point students got a taste of military life last month during a day-long leadership training.
On Sept. 25, military science students traveled with the Stevens Point Reserve Officer Training Core (ROTC) to Fort McCoy for the training. While there, students performed four military-focused activities under the supervision of ROTC cadre, including simulations of transporting a casualty, marksmanship, modern warfare and rock-wall rappelling.
Cadet Dan Schultz organized many of the activities.
“Our objective is to expose participants to who might not have been exposed to prior military training to some military aspects in a fun and engaging environment,” Schultz said.
Cadets Kaitlyn Friebel and Wesley Titus taught students to tie casualties into a litter for transportation.
“When you’re on the litter, you’re all strapped down, you really have no control at all, so this is why we’re building a team in the beginning by picking people up and showing them they can rely on one another,” Friebel said.
Once students demonstrated competency in carrying, they were sent through an obstacle course as a team. Their objective was to carry a laden litter through the course as safely and securely as possible while traversing walls and bridges.
“Aid and litter is very important in the field because you never know when you’re going to have to take your battle buddies out of a combat situation. It’s your responsibility to get them out of there safely,” Titus said.
Many students also rappelled down a 50-foot tower located within Fort McCoy, with the help of Cadet Ryan Dombeck. He said the activity helped build self-confidence in the students by forcing them into a stressful situation. In addition, students were given a brief class on rappelling by rappel masters on how to wear their equipment, as well as the forms to use while rappelling. Masters acted as safeties as students went down the tower.
“Rappelling gives you access to a wider area of operation and locations,” Dombeck said.
And many students found that confidence after the activity.
“I left the climbing wall with a sense of accomplishment,” said student Shawn Corazalla about rapelling.
Students also learned the basic fundamentals of an M16 assault while at the rifle range, an indoor, simulator range similar to laser tag. Cadet Connor Intress led students by teaching them to have a steady position, proper form in aiming and to pull the trigger.
“Marksmanship is important to any soldier who’s planning on joining the United States Army because every soldier has to have a basis to start from,” Intress said. “ROTC helped me a lot especially with classes like this by getting yelled at less by the drill sergeants.”
The students were able to get a taste for live action at the modern warfare event. They were issued paint-ball guns and sent into a field to practice battle maneuvers.
“I really enjoyed the paintball event. I think it was a good representation of what modern warfare might entail. It was a good simulation,” said student Christina Rasmussen.
At the conclusion of every event, cadre reviewed the students’ performance as well as their own.
“Everything we do can be improved on, and (we go) through step-by-step based on all the assumption we have, all the things that went well and things that didn’t go well, so we can continue building and create the best experience for everyone,” Schultz said.