The program celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the start of Army ROTC in 2019. The Spring and Fall activities regarding the anniversary have been well documented on the site and on other social media platforms. Other events that occurred:
Rafting, Tubing and the Semester Start
The first week of the semester started with a Rafting and Tubing outing and then went straight into Physical Training.
With the start of the football season the Department conducted its usual Game Day activities: Supporting University Parking; Providing the Game Day Color Guard and Cadets to fire Yosef’s Musket when the team scored.
Tactical Training of the Individual Soldier (First week of October)
The Commando Club conducted Tactical Training for the Individual Soldier (TTIS) for 17 Cadets who wanted to earn the title of “Comanche” and be eligible to attempt the Commando Qualification Course (CQC) in the Spring. The candidates arrived at the Greenway at 1700 in Summer PTs with full rucks, ready to go. The first event conducted was the PT test, administered by Commando Dominguez and graded by Commandos Parks, Lue, Coffey, and Sandy. After the PT test, the candidates changed into sterilized OCPs and prepared for the ruck inspection. During the ruck inspection, the candidates were inspected to see if they had brought everything on the packing list, and learned the importance of attention to detail and conducting PCIs. After the ruck inspection, the candidates were tested on MARCH, 9-lines, claymores, and call for fire, all of which had been taught to them at previous Commando meetings. During this portion, two candidates were dropped from the event for receiving a no-go in one or more categories.
Once testing was complete, Commando Parks had the candidates drop rucks and took them on a roughly one mile run along the Greenway to show them easily identifiable edible and poisonous plants to emphasize the importance of being aware of their surroundings. At the end of the run, the candidates were left with Commando Sandy and Commando Coffey and split into two groups to conduct a tactical movement and resupply excercise. The candidates navigated to two separate points to pick up water for a notional sister platoon that was low on water and unable to move on their own. Along with moving water, both teams took “casualties” they had to tend to for failing to move tactically. Once the resupply point was met, the candidates dropped water cans, picked up rucks, and rucked from the Greenway to the Broyhill. One candidate decided to go home after the ruck. Once at the Broyhill the candidates had to navigate a medevac scenario, moving from the Broyhill lot to the Greenwood lot. At Greenwood, they moved onto the trails and preceded to Commando pond where they learned how to utilize a rope bridge for water crossing. After they crossed the bridge they continued movement on the trail to Commando hill where they learned to use teamwork and IMTs to climb a steep and muddy hill. After cresting the hill, the candidates were moved back to behind the D. D. Daughtery building where graduation was held and 14 of the initial 17 earned the title of “Comanche”.
Eleven Cadets from Appalachian State University traveled to Fort Pickett, Virginia on Friday, October 18th to compete in the 2019 4th Brigade Ranger Challenge competition. The Cadets representing Appalachian State were; Pearson, Parks, Mccan, Setliff, Mangidon, Eaton, Browning, Malmgren, Coffey, and Lue. Competition was tough with 48 other teams competing for the opportunity to contend at Sandhurst against West Point Cadets. The competition started on Saturday 0700 and ended at 1700.
To become a part of the small elite Ranger Challenge team at Appalachian State, Cadets will need to invest their own time going through the selection process and tryouts. The process to become a part of the team here at App State requires Cadets to wake up much earlier than their peers to do physical training and go to instructional training in the afternoon. After a month of rigorous training, tryouts are conducted to test the Ranger Challenge candidate. The tryout consists of a physical portion as well as knowledge testing. The best Cadets are then selected and will go on to compete at the competition.
The purpose of the Ranger Challenge Competition is to challenge Cadets in a tough mental and physical competition, enhance leader development, develop team cohesion, develop healthy competition among the battalions, and provide a highly visible and dynamic recruiting and retention vehicle. Cadets were tested on a broad spectrum of military events ranging from identifying terrain features on a map to requesting medical evacuations for wounded patients.
The Appalachian State Ranger Challenge team is made up of some of the best Cadets the program as to offer. It is no easy feat to make the team and compete. Each Cadet on the Ranger Challenge team has a strong work ethic and is resilient, but above all, they were team players. There is no “i” in Ranger Challenge. It is a team event that requires a team effort to be successful. Here at App State, we faced our adversities together as a team and we shared our victories as a team. I am proud to compete with my fellow Cadets who have truly fostered the esprit de corps of the Army. Fire on the Mountain!
On October 25, Appalachian State University Mountaineer Battalion conducted their annual Field Training Exercise (FTX) at Riverbend Park, North Carolina. The FTX was a three-day training event that consisted of a day and night-time land navigation course, platoon tactical operation, and a 6-mile tactical road march.
On the first day of FTX; freshmen, sophomore, and junior Cadets formed up at Broyhill parking lot with their equipment and gear ready to depart for Riverbend Park. Upon arrival to Riverbend, the Cadets set up their sleeping sites and started day land navigation. After the completion of day navigation, night-time land navigation would follow. Once all Cadets returned from the navigation course, Cadets bunked down and prepped for the next day.
It is 0500 (5 am), Cadets woke up to conduct their priorities of work. At 0600, two platoons of Cadets stepped off to conduct attack, ambush, and recon operations. The platoons were led by junior Cadets and were assessed by senior Cadets and cadre instructors. Junior Cadets were evaluated on their leadership attributes and competencies. The last operation of the day concluded with a battalion cookout held at a hilltop at Riverbend Park. After the cookout, the platoons were then moved to a patrol base to set up their sleeping site and bunker down for the night.
At 0330 (3:30 am), Cadets woke up and got ready to conduct a 6-mile tactical road march. At 0415 (4:15 am), Cadets started the road march with a 35-40 lbs of gear on their backs. The road march tested the physical endurance and resilience of the Cadets. Once the road march was completed, all Cadets were loaded into the bus are are headed to their last event.
Cadets were then taken to Command Decision Wargame Center. There, Cadets conducted force on force operation with paintball rifles. After a fun time of competing against their peers in paintball, Cadets were loaded up onto the bus and head back to Appalachian State University. The Cadets arrived back to Appstate, and were greeted with pizza to end their FTX. This FTX is essential to provide junior Cadets with the training they need to be successful at their culminating event called Advance camp.
On November 15th, Appalachian State ROTC Mountaineer Battalion hosted its annual dining in. During the dining in, there are strict rules and etiquette to follow. Failure to follow the rules resulted in the drinking of the “grog” (non alcoholic). Cadets provided skits poking fun at upperclassmen and underclassmen adding tasteful humor to the event. Overall, the dining in is a formal event where Cadets and Cadre gather together to foster camaraderie and esprit de corps.
The purpose of the National Society of Pershing Rifles is to develop, to the highest degree possible, outstanding traits of leadership, military science, military bearing, and discipline within the framework of a military oriented, honorary fraternity.
At the beginning of the semester, 24 Cadets went on a journey by going through the candidate process to become Pershing Riflemen (PR) and earn their PR tab. 11 weeks later on November 10th, 14 of the 24 Cadets were left to go through the culminating event known as Pershing Rifle Crossover Night (PROCON). PROCON is where these 14 candidates were tested mentally, physically and emotionally.
To become a qualified PR, a Cadet must endure through an 11-week long candidacy process where they are taught drill and ceremony, tactics, military bearing, and discipline. Cadets must also be able to pass an army physical fitness test with 70 points in each category. After 11 weeks of training, they must go through PROCON.
PROCON is a 19-hour course that includes a packing list inspecting, testing on drill and ceremony, tactics, military bearing and discipline. There is also a road march for unknown distance at the end of the final events. PROCON was rigorous and out of the 14 candidates that went through, only eight were able the call themselves Pershing Riflemen at the end. The other six candidates earned a Flash which is a distinguished honor that signifies them completing PROCON but not meeting all the requirements to become a PR.
Congratulations to Cadet Richardson, Cadet Mangindin, Cadet Gonzalez, Cadet Miranda, Cadet Jovel, Cadet Powers, Cadet Lawson, and Cadet Burelle for earning the title of Pershing Riflemen.
Commando Qualification Course
The weekend of 17 November, Cadets Eaton and Richardson successfully completed the challenging CQC (Commando club Qualification Course). The Commandos are the Mountaineer Battalion’s small unit tactics club. These Cadets have worked hard all year and have been through prerequisite training such as Land Navigation, first aid, claymore mines, call for fire, and squad tactics. Cadets earn the coveted “COMMANDO” tab by demonstrating their physical and mental aptitude as well as military skills knowledge. CQC includes a Commando Physical Fitness Test, night land navigation, a timed 12 mile ruck march and demonstrating their leadership skills through STX Lanes. Between events participants are measured on their level of resiliency, mental fortitude, and warrior ethos. Cadets Eaton and Richardson were the only Cadet of seven to meet the standards of qualification this iteration.
Being a tabbed Commando is an honor and a tradition in the Mountaineer Battalion and these Commandos continue to teach the rest of the Battalion the skills they have learned along the way.
Congratulations to Cadets Eaton and Richardson!
Heroes Day 2019
Appalachian State celebrated the Nov. 23 football game against Texas State as Heroes Day on Appalachian campus. Heroes Day recognizes military personnel, first responders, and veterans. For the Mountaineer Battalion, this day was celebrated by the hosting of an alumni tailgate, contracting ceremony, and the presentation of the Joint Medley during half-time of the game. App State ROTC Alumni from all over returned to continue the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ROTC program. Notable alumni such as Lieutenant General Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Major General Evans, commanding general of Army Cadet Command, and CPT Bob Marrs, one of the first cadre members, made an appearance during the tailgate and Alumni event. Alumni reconnected with classmates and got to share stories and memories. Once the tailgate concluded, App State alum would go on to enjoy the football game. Over 20 Cadets from the Mountaineer Battalion took part in a contracting ceremony during the 3rd time-out of the game. The Cadets were sworn in to serve in the United States Army by Major General Evans. The ceremony is a significant milestone as it represents the official transition from a civilian to Cadet. In honor of hero’s day, the half-time show was a Joint Medley presentation that had JROTC Cadets from the neighboring high schools present the flag of each military branch. App State ROTC Pershing Rifles guided them. Our App State ROTC Alumni have made an impact in the Army and Armed Forces with their passion and drive.