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April chaos brings May pay-off?

Posted by Rilee Newell - April 18, 2016 - Academics, Featured, Military Science, Rilee N., Students

Pointers,

Glad to see you all back here!

Let’s get started! April is the most chaotic month, not only in ROTC, but in college in general. There are midterms, projects, papers, presentations, summer planning, and let’s not forget all the stress of making sure your grades are up to snuff before finals! Add all of that stress to April in ROTC and it’s not easy to handle. However, ROTC teaches the cadets how to successfully make it through stressful and overwhelming situations. As a family, we are all here to help each other succeed in college and ROTC. So, why is April in ROTC so stressful?!

German Armed Forces Military Proficiency Badge (GAFMPB)

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CDT Scheffler and myself high-fiving after completing the 7.6 mile ruck! Job well done!

I talked about this in my last blog briefly. This is a competition where cadets travel down to Milwaukee and go for gold! This competition includes an 11×10 sprint, a 100m swim, a 1000m run, a first aid test, a flexed arm hang, a shoot and a ruck march. During the 11×10, the swim, the run and the flexed arm hang we are timed; our time determines how many points we earn in that event. The first aid test and swim are pass/fail events. During the shoot, we are given five rounds to shoot at three targets; we have to hit each target at least once and then hit at least one target with the other two rounds (in order to get maximum points, you have to hit the targets with all five rounds). Finally, the ruck march distance is determined on how well you shoot.

Below are my scores:

  • 11×10: 53 seconds (We ran this outside and it had begun snowing. The grass was extremely slippery and hindered everyone on the team’s performance. Those in charge of the event took that into consideration when grading)
  • 100m swim: Pass (It took me 2 minutes and 54 seconds)
  • 1000m run: 4 minutes and 21 seconds (This was also outside, and slowed us all down a little bit)
  • First aid test: Pass
  • Flexed arm hang: 64 seconds (That was my longest time, ever!)
  • Shoot: 5 out of 5
  • Ruck march: 7.6 miles in 1 hour 38 minutes and 3 seconds (We had a total of 2 hours to finish)

Overall, I was able to get a gold medal! I competed in this competition last year and only shot 4 out of 5, so I received as silver medal; but this year I shot once a week and was able to take home the gold! Out of the 14 cadets who competed, 5 received gold, 6 received silver, and 3 received bronze. Considering that not everyone has the opportunity to compete in GAFMPB, we are all honored to have even received a medal!

Combined Leadership Development Exercise (CLDX)

This is considered one of the culminating events for the juniors or MSIIIs. This is a three-day event held at Ft. McCoy. Schools from all over Wisconsin come together to participate in this. Upon arrival to Ft. McCoy, we are separated from our school (so sad) and linked up with people from different schools. These people will be our family for the next three days. We have to work together, so it is important to get to know each other the best we can during the short time we have.

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UWSP ROTC being honored at the top program in the 3rd Brigade! Pointers Lead the Way!

The first day (day 0) is for registration and unpacking. Something pretty cool happened at dinner, UW-Stevens Point was honored as the top ROTC program in 3rd Brigade. This award recognizes eight schools nationwide out of 275 possible schools. UWSP ROTC was selected as one of those eight and we could not be more proud.

Next, (day 1) is accompanied with an early wake-up and two missions. Cadets are put into leadership positions (squad leaders, platoon sergeant, and platoon leader) and given a mission. They are then expected to follow the Troop Leading Procedures and create a plan to complete the mission. During these missions, we have to work together and understand each other’s plans in order to be successful; this can be difficult when we have never worked together or even met each other prior to this weekend. But, that’s the point! The first two missions were pretty uneventful for my squad: We were rear security while the other squads went and executed the missions. You may be thinking, “Well, at least it was an easy day!” and that’s true; however, not doing anything in freezing cold weather makes the cold even more severe. It got cold really fast! But, after the missions were complete, at least we were able to have a hot meal and a bed to sleep in.

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CDT Stuart embracing the cold and sleet by ensuring that no unauthorized personnel enter the FOB

Next, (day 2) is again started with a 5 a.m. wake-up call and two more missions. This time, 4th squad was a little more involved. We were able to be the assault portion of an ambush. This means that when  the enemy came into our position, we were the first to open fire while everyone else supported us and pulled security. Mr. Patino (a cadet from UWSP) was the platoon leader during this mission and I was lucky enough to be his platoon sergeant. As usual, not everything went as planned, but the mission was a success. Our second mission allowed for all squads to be equally involved and we all pulled security around the FOB (Forward Operating Base [our home for the weekend]) in case something or someone were to attack us. The weather cooperated more during these missions, and we were able to soak up the sun! This night and last night we were in charge of ensuring that no unauthorized personnel entered the FOB. This meant that we stood at the gates and ID’d everyone who wanted to enter. In case there was anyone in the woods, we were to call that up to leadership and maintain the safety of everyone in the FOB. The weather did not cooperate with us either night; it was unbearably cold! But with the support of my squad mates, we were all able to make it through!

Finally, (day 3) started with a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call and one final mission. We were to make sure that the wooded surrounding the FOB was clear of enemy. When we came across enemy during our patrol, we had to use military tactics and movements to surprise and defeat the enemy. Upon successful completion of the mission, we were able to go back to our tents and start packing to go home! It took a few hours to get everything cleaned and packed up. Then we all had to check out, and we were on our way!

This event really puts into perspective how important it is to get to know the people you are working with. The more you know them, the easier it will be to work with them and understand their planning process. Knowing someone better also allows you to trust them in their decision making process. CLDX also gives us a look ahead to what this summer’s Cadet Leadership Course (CLC) has to offer.

2nd Annual Reeder’s Ruck

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Alex Reeder: A scholar, leader, mentor, and friend.

In case you haven’t heard, Reeder’s Ruck is a ruck march that ROTC has created to raise money for the Alexander H. Reeder Memorial Scholarship. Alex Reeder was a senior psychology major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he was also a major part of the ROTC program as a third-year Pointer cadet preparing to serve his country as a leader in the U.S. Army. Alex joined the Pointer Battalion as a four year scholarship winner and quickly rose to become the captain of the Pointers Ranger Challenge Team Captain. He distinguished himself with outstanding academic and physical achievement but will always be most remembered for his friendship and selfless desire to help others. Alex Reeder epitomized what it meant to be a UWSP Pointer cadet and a leader. This memorial ruck march is in honor of who he was and the legacy he left behind for others to follow. The funds gathered from this event will go to support the memorial scholarship presented to a Pointer cadet annually who exemplify the same commitment to excellence displayed by Alex. Reeder’s Ruck follows an eight-mile course where the participants can run, walk, or ruck (walk with a 35-pound backpack).

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Stacy Reeder (Alex Reeder’s mom) crossing the finish line at the Inaugural Reeder’s Ruck! Excellent job, Mrs. Reeder!

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CDT Dombeck rucking in last year’s ruck march. Even cadets participate in the ruck; anyone can do it. You can too!

The planning for this event is extensive and very involved. It involves coordination with local police, local businesses, and hundreds of personnel. We need to plan the route, create t-shirts, promote the event, create websites, get donations, ensure we have enough participants and volunteers, get music, the list goes on and on. Planning for this year’s event began as soon as last year’s event ended.

Mr. Foster, our S5 (public affairs officer) appointed me to be his assistant. This means that anything he needs done in regards to promoting Reeder’s Ruck or interacting with businesses, gets sent to me; I then task our team to complete his requests. This is especially stressful for me because if anyone on the team fails to do something, it could be detrimental to the success of this year’s Reeder’s Ruck.

This year, Reeder’s Ruck will be held on April 30, 2016, starting at 10 a.m. in the Stevens Point Downtown Square. For more information visit our Facebook page or our Eventbrite page. I hope to see you all there!

Although April is extremely stressful and chaotic, we are almost done. Can you believe that we only have one more month left in the semester?! Stay tuned for how finals turn out and all of the summer excitement!

Until next time! Pointers Lead the Way!
Cadet Newell

Rilee Newell is a cadet in the UW-Stevens Point ROTC program. She is majoring in sociology with an emphasis in deviance and social control with minors in military science and peace studies.

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