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BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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ROTC participates in challenge

With only seven minutes to spare, Caleb Campbell planned his next move.

No one from his team had made it up the most difficult rock climbing wall. Several Air Force cadets shouted words of encouragement as they watched him struggle to pull his body upward.

As he reached the top, his team Delta Flight cheered. Then he stopped. Bewildered, some of the cadets asked him to hurry down. Then he did something no one expected. He started doing pull-ups.

“Cadet Campbell you’re my hero!” shouted one of the teammates from the back of the room. “That’s hard-core,” said Cadet Dan Moates, junior.

It was the first of many rounds of the Eco-challenge exercises the ROTC Air Force would participate in Saturday. The activity goal was to build teams within the detachment according to a coordinator of the event, Cadet Chris Goertz.

The leaders of the Air Force ROTC program approached Bryan Cavins, assistant director for the recreational sports and outdoor programs, to help them accomplish their goal of strengthening the cadets’ team building, communication and leadership skills.

There were several obstacles including rock climbing, walking blindfolded through a course coined the “minefield,” a bullring and land mapping. While these are not necessarily skills they will need in the Air Force, Cavins said these foreign exercises will help them improve their communication skills.

“I dare say communication is a problem with all organizations,” Cavins said. A former specialist in the first Gulf War, Cavins pointed out that communication skills are critical for members of the military. They need to be able to listen well and communicate directions, “so in a crisis situation they can respond to accurate information.”

While many of the members participating in the Eco-Challenge enjoyed the exercises, they also took it seriously as they know this is the career they are entering when they graduate. Cadet Angie Minich, who wants to be a flight nurse upon graduation, said because of the war “you are almost guaranteed a deployment in the next four years.” She would like to go to Iraq to help wounded soldiers. She reiterated the importance of communication.

Having assumed the role of flight commander Saturday, Minich, a junior, learned quite a bit. While she felt her group did well overall, she did learn the value of communication especially during a blindfolded event when she forgot to mention the time to her teammates so they could speed up the process. Minich explained it is moments like that which provide a piece of training cadets could use down the road when they are in a liffe or death situation.

That is why joining the military is not just a career move.

“There is a difference between a career and a calling,” Moates said. “You have to go into it because you really believe above all else what you put it all on the line for.”

Each of them chose the Air Force for different reasons. Moates and Minich both felt the Air Force was the best military branch for taking care of its troops and placing them in their desired vocations. For instance, Moates, a history major would like to be an intelligence officer, gathering and analyzing data that might be relevant to military and civilian leaders.




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