Military Training Immersion Opportunities

The Central Michigan University Army ROTC provides a number of internal and external training opportunities. Internal training is conducted by the CMU Army ROTC itself and much of the training is planned and facilitated by the cadet leadership. Although the cadre provide guidance and oversight, the older cadets are responsible for activity planning and training the younger cadets. Internal training is aimed at providing a stimulating learning environment; fostering teamwork, esprit de corps and building the fundamental skills base necessary to become a future Army officer.

External training is conducted off-site by a military host organization. This training includes Cadet Practical Field Training, internships, and the two primary leadership courses hosted by cadet command. This training is completely paid for by Army ROTC, including meals and travel. Cadets attending basic or advance courses will receive an additional stipend for needed supplies.

Basic camp

This course is designed for students who are already advanced in their academic careers. Those students who wish to join Army ROTC and pursue a commission, but are too advanced in their academic careers to complete basic course progression, often choose this option. It is a 28 day course designed to teach all the basic soldiering and leadership skills that the student would have learned over the four semesters of basic courses.

The Basic Course is the culmination training emphasizing on those skills necessary to succeed in the United States Army. Training scenarios are designed to challenge students mentally and physically while leading other students. These challenges are to afford cadre the ability to observe, mentor and teach students leadership styles, techniques and execution while acclimating them to the Army lifestyle. During the 28 days at Fort Knox students will encounter many exciting adventures in which to share teamwork and build camaraderie with other students while also having fun. The bonus of going to Basic Course is the opportunity to meet numerous other college students and establish valuable and potentially lifelong relationships.

Advance camp

The Advance Course is conducted at Fort Knox, Kentucky and provides the best possible, professional training and evaluation for all Cadets. Although the course mission includes continued training and leadership development, the primary focus in this course is to evaluate each cadet’s officer potential. This course represents the only opportunity for cadet command to gather all cadets nationwide on one “level playing field” for the purpose of making this assessment as accurately and as professionally as possible.

Physical fitness

​​Physical Fitness Training is conducted in three-five mornings a week. Cadets receive challenging physical training to prepare them to pass or exceed the standard on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). Cadets also receive instruction in nutrition, proper hydration, stretching, and various exercises to increase their abilities in the tested events. Morning PT sessions utilize the dynamic endurance, upper-body, and core strengthening exercises used by the military to create the lean and powerful soldiers of America for years.

The CMU Army ROTC adds to this a repertoire of team building physical fitness activities such as gator ball, aquatic PT sessions, the combat PT challenge, and various cardiovascular exercises. Cadets who attend morning PT develop camaraderie, team spirit, and an individual fitness and determination. Many cadets equate morning PT to their experiences with high school and college athletics.

The Chippewa Battalion also hosts the unique 300 Club, a club for those ultra determined cadets driven to achieve and maintain the maximum standard.

Leadership labs

​Leadership Labs at Central Michigan University are currently held Thursday afternoon during the academic school year. Arrowhead Company and Darkhorse Company come together to conduct training, apply classroom lessons, and have fun. Because the goal is to provide training for all the cadets, the atmosphere is hands-on and conducive to all types of learners. Cadets are trained in a vast array of military tasks, to include individual and squad tactics, wear and appearance of the Army uniform, drill and ceremony, combat water survival training, U.S. weapons, first aid, call for fire support, basic rifle marksmanship, radio procedures, and calling for a medical evacuation. Cadets also challenge themselves on the high ropes adventure course, the rock wall and the Kulhavi Rifle Range.

Field training exercises

Fall and spring

​​The Fall and Spring Field Training Exercise (FTX) are one of our primary introduction events. Scheduled early in the first year, it allows the incoming cadets to experience many of the basic military tasks they will need throughout their time in Army ROTC. It also provides the older cadets with a glimpse of the challenges that will face them as they step into leadership roles in the Chippewa Battalion.

The last Chippewa FTX was held at Fort Custer Training Center. Cadets participated in Squad Tactical Exercises (STX Lanes) using Paintball equipment, as well as receiving training in Military Urban Operation such as entering buildings and clearing rooms. All the cadets descended the 34 ft. Rappel wall to build their confidence – after receiving some instruction in mountaineering. Other activities included Land Navigation, a problem-solving environment known as the Field Leaders Reaction Course (FLRC), and basic soldering skills.

Combined field training exercise

The Combined Field Training Exercise (CFTX) brings a large number of different universities together in one place to allow cadets to experience leadership from a perspective outside of their normal peer group. From the Regimental Activation Ceremony until the time the cadets head back to their home universities, the atmosphere closely mirrors the National Leadership Development Assessment Course. All the cadets from all the different universities are mixed into two companies and the MSIII Cadets are assigned leadership positions. The MSIII Cadets are then assessed in the skills they have learned all year in their MSL 301 and 302 courses. They are evaluated in both a tactical and garrison environments.

Activities include the Regimental Activation Ceremony, Standard Operating Procedure Train-up and team cohesion time, Land Navigation, STX Lanes and STX Lanes with Tactical Variables. Although this event is focused on assessing the MSIIIs the younger cadets are encouraged to attend and expand their knowledge and experience.

Army weapons training

Weapons skills are paramount to any soldier, and the CMU Army ROTC ensures there is no shortage of opportunity to gain experience and knowledge in this area. Cadets are afforded the opportunity to fire the M-16 at military targets a minimum of two times per academic year. Additionally cadets can fire weapons like the M-249 squad automatic weapon and the M-9 Pistol at the outdoor ranges​.

During labs, cadets also fire .22 caliber rounds from the M-16 and match-grade .22 caliber rifles on our indoor rifle range. Through participation in various clubs like the Marksmanship Club, cadets can also get more range time and fire other weapons employed by the United States and Foreign Armies.

Cadet testimonials

These training opportunities are distributed to all the ROTC programs in the Nation based on numbers, an expressed desire to attend, and a high likelihood to pass. The Central Michigan University Army ROTC then distributes these training slots to interested cadets who are placed on a competitive order of merit list based on the cadet’s on campus academic and physical performance. These training opportunities include: Air Assault School, Army Mountain Warfare School, Robin Sage, United States Military Academy Cadet Field Training, and Airborne School.

Air Assault School

Over the past summer I was afforded the opportunity by Chippewa Battalion to attend Air Assault School at Fort Campbell. The course was both mentally and physically taxing due to the compressed 10-day timeline set by the school. The course is broken up into three phases-helicopter basics and capabilities, sling loading operations, and repelling, with a phase test at the end of each. There are also four physical events that must be completed, an initial 2 mile run and obstacle course, 6 mile timed road march, 12 mile timed road march, as well as a 4 mile class run. I am not only grateful the the opportunity to attend such a sought-after school, but the ability for me to expand my knowledge to become the most useful asset for the soldiers and people around me. - CDT Andrew Smolinski

Airborne School

This summer I was lucky enough to attend the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, in hopes of becoming an Army Paratrooper. Basic Airborne training is three weeks long and is broken down into three phases-ground week, tower week and jump week. During ground week I learned how to rig my parachute, exit the 34 ft mock towers, do a proper parachute landing fall (feet and knees together!), and how important it is to run everywhere. During tower week we began putting what we had learned together and practiced doing mass exits from the towers, executing our PLFs from the swing landing trainer and we continued to run everywhere. The final week, jump week, was easily the best part of Airborne School. We were required to do five successful jumps, and I personally did four of my jumps out of a C-130 and one out of a C-17. I was pretty lucky and all five of my jumps were very uneventful, and I had five relatively soft landings. There is no other feeling like jumping out of an aircraft and falling through the sky being carried by your parachute. Becoming a Paratrooper was hands down the most exciting thing I have ever done, and I truly cannot wait to jump again. - CDT Ainsley MacLean

United States Military Academy cadet summer training

I attended Advanced Camp CST (cadet summer training) at Fort Knox with 5th Regiment. Upon arriving, I had already convinced myself that this experience was going to be one of the hardest things I would ever have to do. While there are many challenges at Advanced Camp, it ended up being a much better experience than I was imagining. I met tons of great people of whom I still remain in contact with regularly. On top of meeting lifelong friends, I developed myself as a soldier and a leader more than I thought possible. Prior to Advanced Camp, I had little experience in leadership roles. Being thrown into roles such as platoon leader really challenges one's ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome all challenges the platoon might face. Whether it be coming up with something to do during "down-time" or getting the platoon to formation on time with the right uniform, there were challenges at every corner. Prior to getting to the field, I was uncomfortable with the idea of sleeping outside with nothing but a sleeping mat and a sleeping bag on the ground. After doing so for 3 weeks total at camp, I am completely comfortable in the field and sometimes even look forward to it. My time in the field also taught me more about tactics than I had learned throughout my two-and-a-half years in the Army. Regardless of what branch I end up with, knowing these tactics as a platoon leader will help me in the long run. I had a fantastic experience at Advanced Camp and actually had tons of fun. If I had to give advice to anyone heading to Advanced Camp, it would be this; it is what you make of it. Go in with a positive mindset and you will have a positive experience. - CDT Austin Boundy