Becoming an Army ROTC cadet opens up many perks and benefits for college students. ROTC is not just an average college class that is held two to three times a week in a colorless classroom. On the contrary, Army ROTC college programs open up many exciting opportunities for all of the cadets who choose to participate.
The most climatic event during a semester of Army ROTC is the Field Training Exercise, commonly referred to as the “FTX.” The FTX is an exciting 3- to 4-day trip which takes place on the grounds of an Army post such as Ft. Benning, Georgia.
Although the specific activities and events may vary depending on the specific school cadets are enrolled in, there are a number of general skills that will most likely be covered by every Army ROTC college program:
Although the Army utilizes GPS systems and other such positioning technology, it is important for Army officers to understand the basic principles of land navigation. During these exercises, which are conducted during day and at night, cadets are given coordinates for multiple points that they must locate in a given time.
Army ROTC cadets gain experience operating some of the world’s most advanced weapons. Led by drill sergeants, the cadets are instructed on basic rifle marksmanship. They then get the opportunity to go to live-fire ranges and practice shooting with a variety of weapons. Cadets are also taught the fundamentals of weapon cleaning/maintenance, which is a crucial skill for soldiers in the Army.
This part of the Army ROTC college program will challenge cadets with the Army’s array of obstacle courses. These courses are designed to strengthen soldiers and instill in them the confidence that is required to be effective leaders. The cadets will be faced with a variety of physical challenges, many of which require teamwork in order to complete.
During these several days, cadets gain experience with many different skills used by Army soldiers. The FTX also gives ROTC cadets the opportunity to “test drive” army life, as they will spend the weekend on post among active duty soldiers. Overall, an FTX is a valuable learning experience uniquely available to ROTC cadets.