Central Michigan University’s Army ROTC cadets have a new outdoor training course to complete leadership and team building exercises.
Dedicated and named after former professor of military science and retired Lt. Col. Aaron E. Kalloch, the Field Leadership Reaction Course makes CMU the only ROTC program in the nation to have such a course within a mile from campus. In addition to being used by cadets, the course — located in a wooded area near the corner of Broomfield and Crawford roads — is available to the CMU Leadership Institute and other ROTC battalions throughout Michigan.
“The course challenges you mentally as well as physically,” Maj. Jake Cornett said. “Each obstacle presents a problem to the team. Right now we have approximately nine soldiers who will go through as a team, including a team leader and a squad leader. They will go through each obstacle, which gives them a perspective of what they’re doing right and wrong. Hopefully they’ll learn from what they’re doing wrong and come out of the course a bit stronger.”
The course design and layout mirrors the course at Fort Lewis in Washington, where CMU cadets complete a five-week Leadership Development Assessment Course the summer between their junior and senior years.
The FLRC includes ten obstacles designed to improve cadets’ leadership abilities, assess their leadership traits and behaviors, and provide an opportunity to observe the effects of strengths and weaknesses of others during a team operation.
“I think this is a really good training opportunity,” CMU junior and Ada native Cadet Sven Alm said. “The goal is to accomplish the mission but there are a lot of other useful traits that cadets can learn from this course, especially team building. Some people have different ideas of how to accomplish an obstacle. By understanding what different aspects each person brings to the team, cadets can learn a lot from each other through the completion of this course.”
Land for the course was donated, cleared and prepared by the McGuirk family, and funding was provided by lead donor and retired Brig. Gen. John G. Kulhavi, ’65; the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences; Residences and Auxiliary Services; Facilities Management; and many ROTC alumni.
Central Michigan University has been named a top military-friendly university by Military Advanced Education for the past six consecutive years. Currently there are 155 flag officers with CMU degrees across all branches of military service and 1,062 veterans enrolled at CMU.