CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Upholding the mission to prepare advanced course cadets for commissioning while maintaining a high level of engagement among entry level course cadets, the Islander Army ROTC conducted their fall 2016 Field Training Exercise (FTX) on Nov. 18. Hosted at La Copa Ranch in Falfurrias, Texas, a total of 112 students, faculty and community organizations gathered to provide services such as medical support and field support as the cadets began training. Cadets focused on areas such patrol base operations, cultural awareness, movement techniques, map reading and land navigating.
“My first FTX experience was pretty similar to the freshmen we have out here now,” said Ryan Gillenwaters, Cadet Battalion Commander of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Islander ROTC. “It was a great opportunity for me to build comradery with my peers and those above me. It helped me develop the confidence to lead this program.”
FTX allows cadets to readily confront tasks such as climbing and propelling down the suitably named “Confidence Tower” as they challenge themselves to become leaders amongst their peers both mentally and physically. The hands-on experience and variety of courses held at the weekend-long event also assisted cadets in identifying their personal boundaries and how to overcome those limits.
“When you’re put in the lime light, it really shows who you are as a person and as a leader,” said Nicholas Hathaway, Executive Officer for Alpha Company. “Even today, there’s still some things I find that I’m not necessarily the best at but I try to keep improving.”
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi began utilizing the La Copa Ranch in spring 2012 and conducts many different events there throughout the year. The ranch is equipped with a helipad, rappel obstacle course, firing range and grenade assault course.
For more information on the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islander Army ROTC Program, visit http://rotc.tamucc.edu/index.html .