Along with their regular academic schoolwork and classes, Army ROTC cadets also train in the art and science of leadership and Soldiering. Their training involves conducting physical training (PT) sessions three times a week that pushes their physical limits to the maximum. This all culminates towards the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), in which every cadet must pass with a minimum 70 percent or better in all three categories: Push-Ups, Sit-Ups and timed two-mile run. Cadets also execute a number of other physical fitness activities such as ruck marches that can vary between 5 to 7 miles in length while wearing full combat gear. Beach PT is also a regular regiment of the Battalion conducted in the heart of Waikiki.
With beach PT, cadets also conduct Combat Water Survival Training, CWST, in order to gain confidence while within bodies of water and to maintain swim proficiency. CWST consists of five minutes of treading water, ten minutes of freestyle swimming, an equipment ditch, 5m jump while blind folded with a dummy M16 rifle, and an equipment swim with dummy M16 rifle.
A cadet prepares to jump off the diving board at CWST. (Photo Credit: John Banasihan)
“I am an expert and I am a professional.”
MSIII Cadets have a weapons familiarization class during Lab at Diamond Head. (Photo Credit: John Banasihan)
Being physically fit is just one aspect of becoming an Army officer. Cadets must learn the skills vital in leading soldiers in combat. Basic Infantry tactics are taught to cadets as part of their Military Science and Leadership curriculum. Cadets are expected to gain a basic understanding of these concepts and execute them while being placed in various leadership positions during Situational Training Exercise lanes, or STX lanes. STX lanes are just one of the number of methods used to evaluate a cadet’s leadership abilities using a series of seventeen benchmarks called leadership dimensions.
“I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.”
While cadets are evaluated on their leadership abilities during Situational Training Exercise lanes, STX lanes, cadets must also be proficient at reading and plotting land navigation points on a military map in which they must physically navigate a course and locate their respective land navigation points. In an era where GPS satellites and trackers are a dime a dozen, all soon-to-be Second Lieutenants are expected to learn the old school way of navigating from Point A to Point B as a contingency in case of technology’s unexpected surprises.
MSIII Cadet Serrato checks her map before stepping off during a land navigation course. (Photo credit: John Banasihan)
“I am an American Soldier.”
“I am an Army Cadet. Soon I will take an oath and become an Army Officer committed to defending the values, which make this nation great. Honor is my touchstone. I understand mission first and people always.
I am the past – the spirit of those warriors who have made the final sacrifice.
I am the present – the scholar and apprentice soldier enhancing my skills in the science of warfare and the art of leadership.
But above all, I am the future – the future warrior leader of the United States Army. May God give me the compassion and judgment to lead and the gallantry in battle to win.
I will do my duty.”