SA Pederson, Z
I arrived at Camp Dodge in Iowa, prepared to be challenged; however, I wasn’t expecting to leave with a strong sense of pride, accomplishment, and a desire to be better than I was before. Field Ops at Camp Dodge is by far the hardest Field Operations training you can attend, and it challenged me to not only be better physically but also to challenge my mindset and how I tackle certain stressful situations. I arrived on day one and was immediately told to run 4 miles with a 40-50 pound rucksack on my back, in under an hour, shortly after receiving my gear (Kevlar helmet, load-bearing vest, pads, rubber training rifle). The next day we rucked to our Forward Operating Base and we began digging our foxholes, which had to meet certain parameters in order to make it sustainable against an enemy attack. From that day forward we were nervous but prepared for whatever the Lance Corporals decided to throw at us. We learned fire team tactics, movement under fire, commands, searching someone for weapons, patrolling, clearing rooms, and so on. All of these things taught me something valuable that I can apply to a future job in the military. I also felt a great sense of comradery with my shipmates, and although things could be rough at first with all of the stress, we grew to like each other and learned how to work as a team, even if it meant the Lance Corporals had to yell at us a bunch of times. I would highly recommend this training to anyone who’s interested in going into the Infantry field, or anyone who wants to challenge themselves physically and mentally, and also learn some cool things as well. This training was outstanding and definitely worth the trip.
SA Pederson, Z
I attended the Public Safety training in Kentucky with the goal of learning the skills required to be a lifeguard, and I got exactly what I was looking for. While at this training I was taught various rescue techniques, as well as how to scan the water for a drowning victim, different extrication techniques, and waterfront safety skills that can be applied if you’re a waterfront lifeguard. I also learned how to operate an AED, how to perform CPR, and how to perform basic first aid. I felt these skills were taught very well by the instructors, and I left the training confident that if I had to, I could save the life of a drowning victim. The training was very laid back, which was a welcomed change coming from Field Ops only a week prior; however, this did not get in the way of training, and I still felt like I got a lot out of what I was being taught. One of the only complaints I would have about this training was the lack of leadership and organization during certain events, morning PT in particular. The Officers kind of left it up to the staff cadets to organize PT, which made for some interesting and overly complicated exercises. Other than the slight leadership/organization problems on the PT side of the training, I had a great time and would definitely recommend this training to anyone who’s interested in becoming a lifeguard or just learning how to save someone’s life.
SN Vargas, Y
I attended an 8-day seamanship training on the SS John W Brown in Baltimore Maryland. We were in port for 5 days and underway for 3 days. We took classes online handling, firefighting, security, emergency situations, gunnery, navigation, engineering, and anchoring. They were all interesting classes that were also very hands-on for the most part. We had to stand watches in the engine room, flying bridge, and quarterdeck. The watch in the engine room was very hot yet interesting to see how everything is done with a steam engine. We also had a chance to steer the ship and that was an unreal experience that has made me much more interested in seamanship. We had a lot of free time as well which gave for a lot of socialization and bonding. One night we were also given the chance to sleep outside on the cargo hatch and that was the best night on the ship with the best views. Some highlights were rowing a lifeboat, steering the ship, shooting a line cannon, standing watch in the engine room, mooring lines, and sleeping outside on top of the cargo hatch. I would definitely recommend this training to anyone interested in seamanship or just wanting to learn more about it in a more laid-back environment.
2019 Wisconsin NLCC VetMed Training
PO3/LC4 Medina, M
At the veterinary medicine training in Wisconsin, we had a lot of contact with animals. We went to multiple zoos and were able to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of them. We also did goose banding for a whole day and were able to meet some people who took an interest in the veterinary field. One of my favorite parts was when we went to a dairy farm and were able to see how cheese and yogurt were made. It also showed some theories about the future of agriculture. We had a few classes on pet first aid and CPR, and got CPR certified for pets. We did PT and colors every day and often had bonding moments with the other training.
2019 Washington DC NLCC History & Heritage Tour
PO3/LC4 Medina, M
At the DC training, we were able to visit many historical monuments and museums. Every day, we’d have a short breakfast and then we got on the road to go someplace. A huge majority of this training was walking and being active, so it’s best to be physically fit before going on it. I really enjoyed how much liberty we had when we got back from walking, and we were often able to talk with the other cadets and played games together. I also liked how we were quartered at a hotel, and how we were able to have our phones with us so we could take pictures or tell others about our experiences.
2019 Latimer Tennessee MAA Training
PO3 Anderson, G
This was by far the best training I’ve ever been to since becoming a Sea Cadet. This was the most informative and physically demanding training out of the 5 trainings I’ve been to. On the first day, we started out fast with water pt down by the lake and bear crawls. The next few days were learning about morality, criminal and common law, and warrants, and of course pt 2-4 times a day. In the coming days, we would learn hand to hand and takedown mechanics. We would run scenarios and drawing our training pistol for hours. Even though some of these techniques got monotonous they were important to perfect. Then came Sunday and that was range day for us. We shot Glocks 23s and AR15s. We did reload drills, moving and firing, and firing from behind cover. This was probably the best day of the training.
The day after range day the Officers chose 5 members to be a part of a SWAT team. Out of the 19 cadets, 12 tried out, and requirements were a special prt, gun range scores, test scores from the law test, room clearing skills, and finally an interview in front of 3 officers. I was fortunate enough to make the SWAT team. We were given bump helmets and special ear protection and a boom mic for our radios that would connect into our ear protection. We served out numerous search and arrest warrants. We had an active shooter call out at 1 AM and we arrested a first-degree murder who was hiding in an old house with his best friend. Overall, I would recommend this training to every single person who is physically able and can-do hours of hardcore pt and is determined.
RTIL Medical Staff
PO3 Adam, D
This training at Great Lakes was not about learning, but about practice. We were in charge of the RTIL Sickbay and it would be our job to diagnosis, treat and record all persons. All of this was under the supervision of two medical professionals and HM’s. The limited downtime we had was spent talking about advanced medical topics such as Erythrocytes, Cardiac Electrophysiology, and Intravenous Therapy. Overall the training was enjoyable and an eye-opening experience to the field of medicine.
Religious Program Specialist
PO2 Adam, D
The goal of this training was to expand our knowledge. Never at any point were our personal religious (or lack of) views challenged, only expended. In my opinion, it is unfair to judge people of different faiths, without studying their faith and beliefs. That is what this training accomplished, it gave all of us a viewpoint on faiths or religions. We did this by visiting houses of worship, reading sacred texts and talking to representatives. All this gave us the ability to form our own opinions and understandings, regardless of our own feelings.
RTIL Great Lake
SN Oblazney, M
My experience at RT Great Lakes was above all an unforgettable one. While at RT, I had a double ear infection which altered my ability to study and focus however I managed to push through the pain and irritation with the help of my fellow shipmates motivating me constantly. Without my shipmates, my journey through RT would have been much harder and I never would have made so many lifelong friends that are all going their own ways in life. My experience also made me reconsider my career path from wanting to be a corpsman to wanting to a nurse in the Air Force.
2019 Washington DC NSCC History & Heritage Tour
PO3 Medina, C
This summer, I attended a history and heritage training in Washington D.C. It was by far one of my favorite trainings that I have done. We traveled all over DC and the surrounding areas and gained so much valuable knowledge about the history of our country and how it came to be. Even though there was no PT, we walked nearly 50 miles over the course of the training. Three of my favorite locations we toured were Gettysburg, the FBI headquarters, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
In Gettysburg, we got to take a tour on a horse-drawn carriage and visit all the monuments for the individual states that fought during the Civil War. The town and tourist sites were set in the time period, and we ate dinner at a historical house where we got to learn about some of the ghost stories, legends, and soldiers from the war.
The FBI headquarters tour was very educational; we learned about all the available opportunities in the FBI and the operations that each category of worker performs. The lab sciences really interested me, and the tour guide was very helpful and explained to all of the older cadets what the requirements were for each position and gave us tips to start preparing for a career in the FBI.
Finally, the time we spent at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was unforgettable. Earlier in the week, I was chosen to be one of the four cadets in the wreath-laying party. When we walked up to the tomb and saw the expansive overlook onto the surrounding city, and absorbed the silent and respectful environment, it was obvious that everyone in the training was overwhelmed with a sense of awe, respect, and solemnity. The wreath-laying went very well, and the four of us were paid many compliments by the CO, XO, and civilians that had been visiting while we laid the wreath.
This training was incredible. I made so many great friends and learned so much over the course of the training. I definitely recommend this training to any cadet that wants to immerse themselves in the deep history of our country.
2019 Central Kentucky NSCC CyberPatriot Training
PO3 Medina, C
The second training that I attended this summer was a CyberPatriot training at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. This was by far my favorite training I have been to. The CyberPatriot training focused on cybersecurity and how to secure a system in order to protect it from potential threats and attacks. We learned how to secure both Windows and Linux operating systems and learned extensively about the command line and its functions. Our division officer was able to set up meetings for us to video chat with the CEO of the cybersecurity company Coalfire, and some higher-ups workers in that company as well. We were able to ask as many questions as we wanted about how to succeed in that industry, or what the day to day life of someone in the industry is. On the final day of the training, we had a CyberPatriot competition, and my team won the security contest for Linux, and the three of us were given challenge coins by our division officer.
I enjoyed this training so much and am seriously considering a major in computer science when I am in college. Technology and the internet are becoming such a huge part of our everyday lives, so much of our daily routines are centered around these topics. However, with that comes the risk of security breaches. As technology advances, it is a necessity that security advances as well. The cybersecurity industry is booming, and I highly recommend this training to any cadet who wishes to learn about the basics of cybersecurity, and either set themselves on a path towards that career field or to set up a CyberPatriot team in their own division.
LC1 Salas, M
I think my summer basic orientation went very well, I had lots of fun. We did tons of marching 24/7. We also did LOTS of PT, mostly running. We woke up at 6:30, but I would wake up earlier because I couldn’t sleep. We also did 3 days of classroom work. The very last day we did tons of fun things, we did rock climbing, tight rope walking, obstacles, ziplining, and the leap of faith. They were all so much fun! My favorite was the leap of faith. In the leap of faith, you climb about a fourteen-foot pole then jump off the top. Don’t worry we had a harness on the whole time! After that, we went to a lake called random lake right next to the base. We swam and Mr. Garfolo cooked out on a grill for us and we had hamburgers and brats. We went to the lake with veterinarian medicine and had a relaxing day. In my opinion, I think it was a great time and I loved my experience.
SN Hudson, A
Basic Airman is basically the first steps to becoming an airman. You must learn the basics before you can move forward with it. Basic airman covers how an airplane flies from how to fix a KC-130J engine. At this training, I got to do many things like help fix a C-130 engine that had just come back from overseas, and help fix an arresting gear
engine on the airstrip. With this training, you can go into many different mechanical shops and non-mechanical shops. I first started in Fleet Readiness Command or FRC. FRC holds many different shops such as ordinance or bombs and guns, C-130 TurboProp engine shop, survival equipment, and airframes. You might also go to the T-line or Transient line. That’s where flights from other bases go for a temporary stop, that’s also where I got to help taxi in a C-17 Globalmaster. You may also go to the Marine corpsFA/-18 Superhornet squadron which also consists of ordinance, airframes, engines and survival equipment. Overall I’d recommend this training if you like aviation and want to learn a lot more about possible jobs in the aviation field.
SN Hudson, A
Combat Medical is basic and advanced first aid. The training goes through the course Tactical Combat Casualty Care or also known as TC3. TC3 is the basic and advanced infantryman first aid and combat medic first aid. It teaches the normal how to clean a wound from how to decompress a chest or put in a nasopharyngeal airway, also known as an NPA. Overall at this training, I had a great time and learned a lot of new things. I would recommend this training if you want to be challenged and learn a lot of new things.
SA Smith, Z
When I arrived at Recruit Training at Great Lakes, it was a sudden change that I felt caught all of us by surprise. The first couple of days we spent adjusting to the new lifestyle and learning the ropes. In my division, 007, we didn’t start to connect as a team until Monday when everyone was earning their guidons. Slowly but surely we started to put aside our differences and earned our guidon Wednesday. We continued growing stronger and stronger over the next couple of days. We had 5 inspections over the course of the week some of which are NWU uniform inspection, dynamic military inspection, barracks inspection, drill inspection, and dress white inspection. Our RTC’s reminded us constantly on how important these inspections were to us as a division and constantly reminded us to study the book and keep our barracks very neat. We were tested against the other divisions in battle station training which included fire prevention, and marlinspike. The day before graduation, the CO called the divisions out to the grinder so that he could announce who was to be honor division. When he announced that division 007 had earned honor division I was so proud and happy that after all this hard work and a rough start we became a team and operated as one.
SA Smith, Z
Stem was located at the peak of a mountain at Latimer Scout reservation in Tennessee. The first week we worked on building Seaperch underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) before we weaponized them and battled it out in the lake. The next couple of days we learned how to code on an Arduino board before starting construction on an autonomous underwater vehicle, the SeaGlide. The SeaGlide is used by marine biologists as a machine that barely uses any energy. It uses currents so that when it dives underwater the wings on the side will propel it forward.
The physical aspect of the training began on the first day, where we took the PT test once we arrived. All the trainings had PT in the morning at 0600 and at night after chow. Depending on our performance we could be handed over to a Marine corpsman who would PT us very hard, and it was usually done on the shoreline for a couple of hours. One of the things I wish that we did was participate in the event with all the other advanced training, called hell night, it lasts for 8 hours ending right before chow. For Stem, we did a more enjoyable but hard PT in the afternoon. Such as hiking to an abandoned coal mine, rappelling down a cliffside, kayaking, and Swimming.
Master at Arms Training
SA Wheeler, L
This summer I had the opportunity to attend a Master at Arms training class in Iowa. I was not expecting to learn all the things that I did. There was classroom time that provided information about what a police officer might say or do when arresting someone, which was very interesting and fun. In the field, we were taught baton moves, takedowns, a K-9 dog in action, some obstacles, and my highlight and lowlight, the OC spray. The OC spray, which is a little bit like pepper spray only stronger, was optional for us to choose to participate in. I chose to participate! It may have been the most pain I have ever experienced. After I was sprayed, we had to continue with the course. Immediately after being sprayed we went through baton stations while giving the instructor verbal commands. Then someone reached for your dummy gun and you had to prevent them from getting it. Using moves that you were already taught. This training was very good and informative about being an MAA. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be an MAA or police officer.