GRU-Augusta conducts FTX on Fort Gordon
Cadets from Georgia Regents University-Augusta Reserve Officer Training Corps participated in a field training exercise on Fort Gordon with the assistance from Soldiers of 35th Signal Brigade Feb. 28 to March 2.
Lt. Col. Keith Cantrell, professor of military science at Georgia Regents University Augusta, said the field training exercise will prepare the cadets for the cadet leadership course held at Fort Knox, Ky., in the summer. Cantrell emphasized how this particular type of training grooms future Army leaders.
“ The most important aspect of the training is the after action review; as long as the cadets learn from their actions they will continue to grow as a leader,” said Cantrell.
According to Capt. Michael T. Mixon, assistant professor of military science, cadets executed patrolling techniques, such as ambushes and raids. They also trained on day and night land navigation.
“The field training exercising culminates what the cadets have learned in a classroom environment, ranging from operational planning, troop leading procedures, and ultimately preparing for actions on the objectives,” said Mixon. “The cadets learn that they have to analyze situations and adapt to changing missions, and there is not always a book answer or check list that will give them success.”
Mixon said the Soldiers were able to provide good quality feedback from their perspective.
In one scenario, cadets had to march through the woods, hills and creeks of Fort Gordon to capture a high-value target, played by a 35th Signal Brigade Soldier. Soldiers from the 35th Signal Brigade acted as the opposing force in the event
Sgt. Bradley Armstrong of B Company, 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, used his experience in Civil War Reenactments in his home state of Missouri, and 13 years of paintball playing, as an opposing force team leader during the FTX.
“One thing they learned is that battle tactics and a plan can change at any minute,” said Armstrong. “Expect the unexpected.”
“It was all about camaraderie with our Soldiers, many that I have not met before. The FTX was a fun experience,” said Cincinnati, Ohio native Spc. Christopher Banner of B Company, 67th ESB.