By Isa LoPiccolo-Kleine
Special to Horizons

Field Training is an experience like no other. In order to be selected, you must choose to be a part of the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

By doing this, you elect to be a part of something greater than yourself.

You choose to strive to become better than who you were yesterday and who you are today.

You strive for excellence. That is why Field Training is like no other experience – you choose to go through something arduous and taxing.

You can leave at any time and end the ordeal, but in doing so, you lose your chance at becoming an Air Force Officer.

There are many different experiences at Field Training, including always being tired and hungry, the thrill of excitement when you learn something new, and the joy of accomplishment when you complete a mission.

The memories I treasure most are the moments my flight or squadron caught up and got to hear how everyone was doing.

Yes, Field Training is rough, but you have people to help you while you’re there.

“Field Training was challenging, because it was designed to be that way. Imagine having mere seconds to shower, change, and run outside, followed by long days out in the Alabama sun learning valuable skills from Air Force personnel that culminate into vivid scenarios and operations that test your leadership to [its] core. Despite the intensity, I departed with fond memories of my fellow cadets, hilarious stories, and a deeper understanding of how one may never realize their full potential until they give 100 percent,” said Peter Hoffend.

A cadet can be evaluated in many ways and through many different activities, including their ability to march a flight from place to place, or attempts to keep their people from getting hit with paintballs.

There are countless occasions in which the training staff are able to evaluate the cadets, but the one thing these trainers need is more time.

Due to the sheer number of cadets in each flight, the overall consensus from those who participated in Field Training was that the amount of time allotted to them to perform up to their usual standard just wasn’t enough. 

“I honestly think [Field Training] should be longer. I didn’t feel like everyone got a fair evaluation, but it is a quick way to learn to become a team and work together,” said Katherine Mosley.  

In Field Training, a special bond forms between each cadet and their flight mates. It helps pull you along through rough patches not only while you’re there, but also once you leave.

The aim of Field Training is to evaluate a cadet’s discipline and leadership abilities while simultaneously helping them grow.

If Air Force ROTC and Field Training sounds like a challenge that you’d like to take on, please visit us in Building 79, or contact Captain Kelsey Smith at [smithk68@erau.edu].  

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