Army ROTC cadets from UT Knoxville and UT Chattanooga recently participated in their annual four-day fall field training exercise on the island of Fort Loudoun in Vonore, Tennessee.
Dating back to 1844, UT’s Army ROTC program is the nation’s oldest military program at a state university. It has grown by 160 percent in the past five years alone, currently enrolling 146 students.
On the first night of the recent four-day exercise, the cadets were divided into platoons and set up temporary campsites in the woods. They awoke the next day at 3 a.m. to practice night land navigation using a protractor, a map, and a compass to find two marked points. After completing that test, they set out for day land navigation with the task of finding four marked points in a set amount of time.
During the remainder of the exercise, the cadets practiced battle drills and took a six-mile march carrying 35-pound rucks containing extra uniforms, their sleep system, and wet weather gear.
The four-day event concluded with the annual patching ceremony, in which alumni of the program shared words of inspiration with the cadets before presenting patches to freshmen who had participated in their first field training exercise.
Amy Blakely (firstname.lastname@example.org, 865-974-5034)