NSU ROTC cadets excel at Advanced Camp

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NSU ROTC Cadets who ranked in the top 50 percent of their cohort at this year’s Advanced Camp are, from left, Cadets Taylor Dixon, Dylan Trueblood, Jimmy Lara, Cade Davis and Michael Shamblin.

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s ROTC program announced the results of Cadet performance at this year’s Advanced Camp. Advanced Camp is a 35-day training event designed to develop a Cadet’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and to forge them into tough, adaptable leaders who can thrive in ambiguous and complex environments. Cadets are evaluated on their ability to lead at the squad and platoon levels, both in garrison and tactical environments. Cadets are mentally and physically tested during a 12-day rigorous field training exercise that replicates combat conditions. Successful completion of the Advanced Camp is a prerequisite for commissioning.

“Our Cadets performed very well this summer compared to past years,” said LTC Joshua Drake, Professor of Military Science. “Over the last three years, our program was ranked in the mid-30s of the 39 schools hosting Army ROTC programs in the Southeast Region, which includes Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi. This year our ranking has jumped to 8 out of 39.”

All of NSU’s MS4s (senior-level Cadets) were ranked in the top 50 percent of their cohort, about 6,000 Cadets, with two Distinguished Military Graduates (Top 20%), a RECONDO Badge recipient, and a graduate of the US Army Airborne School. They are Cadets Cade Davis of Shreveport, Taylor Dixon of Shreveport, Jimmy Lara of Fort Polk, Michael Shamblin of Dry Prong, and Dylan Trueblood of Natchitoches. Dixon and Davis are Distinguished Military Graduates with Davis graduating Airborne School.

Lara earned the RECONDO Badge, a first for an NSU Cadet in seven years. The RECONDO Badge (RECONnaissance commanDO) is extraordinarily difficult to earn, Drake said.  It is awarded to Cadets who display superior skills at Advanced Camp. They must exceed the standards in physical fitness, obstacle courses, land navigation, rifle marksmanship, first aid, and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear training.

“I attribute much of this success to their and the cadre’s hard work over the years but especially last year through mentoring these Cadets to outperform their peers. Each senior is now likely to get active duty and branch of choice,” Drake said.

“Grade point average counts for a large portion of their scores,” Drake added. “While I appreciate efforts here at the Armory, we could not have accomplished this without a challenging, motivating, and encouraging faculty. Thank you to the entire faculty and staff for supporting NSU’s ROTC Program.”

Information on NSU’s ROTC program is available at https://rotc.nsula.edu/.