Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

SDSU Army ROTC Conducts Operation Agile Leadership Training

The U.S. Army Cadet Command aims to replicate Cadets’ summer training with a modified version during pandemic.

SDSU Army ROTC Conducts Operation Agile Leadership Training

by Gabriela Romero

​October 10, 2020

Usually, every summer SDSU Army ROTC senior Cadets are presented with the opportunity to tactically and rigorously train at Cadet Summer Training, or CST. However, due to COVID-19, plans for a month of CST at Fort Knox, Kentucky were canceled. Instead, U.S. Army Cadet Command is executing Operation Agile Leader training over the course of Fall ‘20 semester.

U.S. Army Cadet Command is doing everything possible to ensure the commissioning class of 2021 is receiving exceptional training to become officers upon graduation. Cadets will attend Leadership Labs at Miramar on Thursdays, to train on events such as Land Navigation and Combat Water Survival Training.

Additionally, Cadets will execute training with Land Navigation, Weapons Qualifications, Platoon and Squad tactics, and a 12-mile road march in a “five-day extensive field training exercise at Fort Irwin, CA at the end of this month” LTC Michelle Parlette says.

Training officer MAJ Zeke Foor says, “[Operation Agile Leader Training] gives Cadets a little bit more time to prepare for the events, yet at the same time, it puts more stress on them with additional training they must complete during the normal academic year.”

Traditionally, Cadets stay in their geographical area to train so they gain familiarity with other Cadets in the program. However, this modified training calls for various schools to combine into a “Task Force” to train. Therefore, Cadets interact with other students they have never met before and work together towards a common goal.

“It really helps Cadets form their leadership foundations and work together as a team with people that they don’t know, as could happen in real life in the real Army,” MAJ Foor states.

U.S. Army Cadet Command values that Cadets become familiar in working with others they don’t know to build a cohesive team. The “Task Force” must be able to take a problem, develop a solution, create a plan, execute it quickly and effectively, all while under the stress of a simulated combat environment.

MAJ Foor says this experience will “test [cadet] leadership ability and enables the Cadre to evaluate them, identify strengths and weaknesses, make recommendations on how they can improve, and in the end, set them up for success.”

He believes this class is more prepared for their future compared to other classes since the pandemic catalyzed them to build their adaptability skills.

“Going from face to face, rapidly [transitioning] to virtual, not [knowing] what the semester looks like, transitioning to partial virtual and partial face to face, and still putting together a solid plan to build team cohesion, is the basis for their leadership roots,” MAJ Foor says.

The SDSU Army ROTC program has been commissioning Cadets since 1980. Army ROTC offers leadership and adventure training, scholarships and stipends, travel and a guaranteed job post-graduation.

Read more about SDSU Army ROTC here.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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