Cadets prepare for field training exercise

Cadet Christopher Hatcher briefs the Battalion on patrol base operations to get ready for his lab. (photo by Captain Ahching)

By Britny Nanney |

Augusta University’s (AU) Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets are preparing for their combined field training exercise (FTX) with Georgia Southern University that will take place Nov. 2-4 at Fort Gordon.

An FTX is a 3-4-day exercise that takes place on an Army post. It covers general skills that are taught by every Army ROTC college program. Field Training Exercises teach the cadets how to live in the field, how to follow Army regulations and the importance of accomplishing a mission.

“The FTX’s are the foundation of where you can see your strengths and weaknesses as a leader,” said Cadet Kimard Kinlaw, a senior at AU. “I learned how to be resilient, embrace the suck and motivate others when they wanted to quit.”

Cadet Kinlaw briefs his platoon on the importance of patrol base operations, what it means and how to execute (photo by Captain Ahching)

In order to prepare for the FTX, the cadets are conducting lab exercises that consists of learning about patrol base operations, squad strategical training exercise (STX) lanes and platoon movements. All of this information will help them learn how to lead soldiers in the U.S. Army.

At this FTX, there will be more than 20 cadets from AU and more than 180 cadets from Georgia Southern working together. Cadets will be tested mentally and physically. They will conduct land navigation during the day and the night, as well as ruck marches that are miles long with lanes that consist of squad-sized missions that simulate ambushes, attacks and reconnaissance missions.

“The field training exercises are the mid-term and final tests for an Army Cadet,” said AU Professor of Military Science Lt. Colonel Danielle Rodondi. “These are designed to test the cadet’s knowledge of required basic army soldiering skills they have learned, and to test their ability to lead and complete the mission with minimal sleep and in a stressful environment.  I am confident that the Augusta University ROTC cadets have gained the knowledge to succeed in the field training exercise.”

Cadet Christopher Hatcher disseminates information to his group leaders to ensure the cadets get the training they need. (photo by Captain Ahching)

The result of the Army ROTC program is to commission the cadets into second lieutenants. In May 2019, 16 AU cadets will earn their commissions and begin their careers in the U.S. Army.

For more information concerning Augusta University’s ROTC program, contact Captain Peter Ahching at

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