Classroom boot camp

Mar 092008
Authors: Katie Stevens

A cadet in CSU’s Reserve Officer Training Corps needn’t look further than the patch on their left shoulder to be reminded of their expectations of leadership and excellence.

Cadets were challenged in these guiding Army principles during a six hour Super Lab on Saturday. ROTC cadets have a lab on Thursday, in addition to regular ROTC classes twice a week, to expand on classroom material. Super Lab, however, is an annual intensive training event geared towards preparing junior military science cadets (MS III) for the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Wash.

The freshmen and sophomore cadets (MS I and MS II) Super Lab was structured around basic soldiering skills, from learning how to set up a claymore mine and throwing a grenade, to destroying an enemy bunker and searching an enemy prisoner of war.

MS I and II cadets trained on campus in the Monfort Quad, while the MS III cadets trained off campus at the grounds surrounding Hughes Stadium.

The exercises for MS IIIs are designed to have cadets making split second decisions during exercises. Cadet Major Jake Knell, a senior (MS IV) and operations officer who served as an instructor at the MS III lab, said the training is designed to teach the cadets to always take action.

“One decision is better than no decision,” Knell said, during a briefing after a mock mission was completed by a group of MS III students.

Knell said that the Situation Training Exercises (STX) help to identify where MS III cadets stand before LDAC takes place this summer.

While the Super Lab’s atmosphere was a serious one, cadets were still smiling and working together to complete tasks and missions. Cadet Michael Caspers, a MS IV and Public Affairs Officer, felt that all around the cadets were happy with the experience.

“The sense is that they enjoy training,” Caspers said. “They really like to have intensive training, and Super Lab is a way to have more intensive training.”

Staff photographer Katie Stevens can be reached at

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