0700-0800: Advanced party of cadets and cadre leave for Camp Williams to set up land navigation courses, water refill stations, and pick up weapons. Mike Humphries, retired Marine and ROTC supply technician, spends the drive teasing and joking with soon to be commissioned cadets.
A cadet gets to work
The terrain model
Terrain model setup
Cadets complete the terrain model
1100-1525: Cadets learn Land Navigation early on in training. They are taught to plot points, plan their routes, and have tact points for where points should be when they arrive. Briefings consist of boundaries, orienting land marks, and water point identification.
Day time land navigation is approximately four hours long. Cadets must find at least 5/8 points to pass evaluation. Each point is marked with dog tags imprinted with the point coordinate and a code to prove cadets were successful according to their designated Line Strip. MS I and IIs are expected to navigate on their own, but are given leniency if they need help.
MS IIIs on the other hand are given strict instructions to not work together. During the Leadership Development Assessment Course (LDAC), a six week officer training camp, cadets are not allowed to receive any help during the nav evaluation.
Most MS IVs stay at camp during this evaluation and prepare for tomorrow’s operations. They also grade cadets on their land nav and reteach cadets who failed.
My own land nav map
1900: Cadets march in between classes.
Training for a civilian encounter
1906: Cadet Allen demonstrating the correct way to handle civilians.
“A man needs his knife”
Once upon a time Cadet Chapman had a shiny new knife. Well, that shiny new knife? Yeah, it fell into the porta-potty. Cadet Chapman then proceeded to retrieve said knife, because “a man needs his knife.” As a result, this cadet now owns a “poop knife.” Definitely one of the best, most ridiculous stories of the weekend. Ohhhh those cadets…
Two types of exercise
Cadets do pushups and stand in formation between classes.
1930: The weapons clearing barrel is placed next to all guard towers and most buildings where military personnel carry a weapon. To clear the weapon, cadets place the weapon point down into the barrel while they remove any and all ammo. They remove the magazine, and check to make sure the chamber is empty before the trigger is pulled to ensure that no bullets remain.
Fun fact: weapons clearing is a nine step process.
These two cadets were happy to demonstrate and then teach me the proper technique.