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More than a dozen Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or ROTC, Cadets from Old Dominion University's military science and leadership program attended the U.S. Army's 32-day top officer training exercise at Fort Lewis, Wash., this past summer.

Fourteen ODU students participated in this final leadership event for ROTC Cadets in their preparation to lead American Soldiers as Army officers.

Rising seniors: Monique Allen, James Carey, Nathaniel Crawford, Mike Del Re, Gregory Gemedschiew, Matt Howard, Brent Johnson, Roderick Parinas, Daniel Samotis, Adam Shabbott, Brandon Shah, Dwight Stalls, Emma Taylor, and Lloyd Weaver, joined more than 4,000 other "cadets" from colleges and universities nationwide for the massive exercise, known as the Leader Development and Assessment Course, also known as "Warrior Forge".

"Warrior Forge is the single most important training event for an Army ROTC Cadet," said Lt. Col. Barry R. Hendricks, Old Dominion University's professor of military science. "It is where every Army ROTC cadet in the country gets a chance to show what they know, head to head with their fellow cadets. It culminates a comprehensive lead up during their junior year where they received instruction and training on physical fitness, land navigation, and basic small unit leadership. All of our Cadets did exceptionally well this year and exceed all goals we set for them at the end of the school year. I'm very proud of their accomplishments."

Warrior Forge is comprised of activities combined to build and test cadets' confidence, technical skills, physical agility and endurance, and leadership capability. The exercise will include M-16 familiarization and marksmanship, land navigation, confidence training, water survival, hand-to-hand combat, security operations, first aid, field leader's reaction course, and various individual and group tactical training venues.

Cadets also spend about 10 days in field conditions responding to training situations devised by U.S. Army soldiers with recent experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Our job every day in ROTC is to ensure that the young people entering Army service have the very best training," said Col. Steve Corbett, commander of Operation Warrior Forge at Fort Lewis. "Warrior Forge is made up of 5,000 dedicated professional Soldiers and civilians all working hard to ensure that the military science students who will become new Army lieutenants are ready to lead America's most precious defense resource - Soldiers."

This article was posted on: August 4, 2006

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