0600: Cadets get an extra hour of sleep! Hooah! And a delicious hot breakfast. What we easy to stay the morning before patrols!
0715-1030: Platoons break off into patrols. They have finally mastered controlling the media while in the field. Geared up with paintball equipment once again, they set up security in a clump of trees to watch the road for hostiles. A lot of waiting for such a little amount of action! Cadets constantly make jokes and get really into the simulation Ops, it keeps them focused on the task at hand. Great work cadets!
1400: MS IV cadets packing gear from the supply tent. They gathered paintballs and CO2 canisters from the cadets so there wouldn’t be a battle on the bus ride home. (Yes, a bus battle is a legitimate fear; those cadets are unpredictable!)
1415: Cadets line up in final formation. They discuss the FTX and allow cadets to give feedback. MS IVs are recognized for their hard work throughout the weekend, and are given congratulations for such a success! Lieutenant Colonel Johnson addresses the cadets and gives them some motivating words to conclude the weekend. Cadets respond with “Hooah!” and beam about what they have completed and learned these past few days.
Part of the group
Before formation broke down, LTC Johnson presented me with a Ute Warrior Battalion Coin, establishing me as part of the group. Hooah! I definitely didn’t expect that! (I feel way super awesome, just saying) I gotta say, everyone in the battalion made me feel like one of the group. They were patient, explained things (multiple times), translated their military acronyms into civilian, and made sure I was well taken care of; they sill managed to let me participate in everything they did, and helped me gain some neat experiences! Whether it was teaching me the key points in Op Orders, how to stay safe when taking fire, eating those always awesome MREs, or texting “are you still alive?” (Cadet Call) when I go gallivanting off to conquer night time land navigation, they never treated me like I was in the way. I learned tons from both the cadre and cadets, and couldn’t have asked for a better experience! Thanks to everyone who made it happen, and for allowing me to “tag along!”