The Johns Hopkins Gazette: April 26, 1999
Apr. 26, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 32


ROTC Cadets Get Ready for Capstone Training Event

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

From April 9 to 12, 21 Army ROTC juniors from the Johns Hopkins University BlueJay Battalion traveled to Fort A.P. Hill, Va., to make final preparations for attending the capstone ROTC training event held at Fort Lewis, Washington, D.C., this summer. The annual Joint Training Exercise is designed to test cadets in military skills, promote esprit, foster a competitive spirit and develop leadership attributes. Nearly 350 cadets from universities and colleges throughout Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia attended the training.

Josh Mitchell, a biomedical engineering major, and Brendan Gallagher, an international relations major, achieved the highest physical fitness scores. Mitchell completed 81 pushups in two minutes, 105 situps in two minutes and the two-mile run in 12:34. Gallagher completed 87 pushups, 97 situps and the two miles in 12:19. The highest score for the JHU women went to chemistry major Suzanne Kanuck, with 43 pushups, 80 situps and a two-mile run of 15:03. Rohin Sharma, a political science major, was also instrumental in the JHU students earning the highest physical fitness average among the 15 universities and colleges at the competition.

After the physical fitness test, the cadets completed a five-hour orienteering course. Biology student Owen Johnson submitted one of the very few perfect scores, and as a team the JHU cadets finished a close second behind James Madison University.

The next two days were devoted to tactical training, during which each cadet was evaluated on leading a small unit through the woods, reacting to aggressors and completing a tactical mission. Again the JHU cadets performed well, with Mitchell, Johnson, Gallagher, Michelle Schmidt (biomedical engineering) and Brian Soule (political science) receiving ratings of "Excellent."

"This junior class is the best that I have seen in my four years of teaching ROTC at Duke University and at Hopkins," said Lt. Col. Charles Roller, director of Military Science at Hopkins. "They have the potential to bring back several trophies from Advanced Camp this summer, including the Commanding General's Award for Training Excellence. Duke was one of only 17 schools out of over 300 in Cadet Command to win this distinction my last year there, and I know this Hopkins class can do it. Clearly, these cadets will excel at Advanced Camp and bring distinction to the JHU program."

Advanced Camp, conducted at Fort Lewis, is the single most important training in the career of an Army cadet. It consists of 35 days of fast-paced and realistic training and evaluation. It is often the first exposure to the active Army and is the only arena in which cadets from various universities and colleges undergo a common, high-quality training experience. All cadets must attend Advanced Camp before they are commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army.

Advanced Camp features special training consisting of individual movement techniques, offensive and defensive operations, water survival and more. Recondo training includes the slide for life, obstacle course, 40-foot rope drop and 55-foot rappel tower.

Advanced Camp is intentionally tough and stressful, with long days, considerable night training and no days off. Throughout the five weeks, cadets encounter physical and mental obstacles, which challenge them as individuals, soldiers and leaders. Training is sequenced in a logical, building-block manner and covers basic military skills at individual and squad levels and culminates with tactics instruction at the platoon level. Platoon competition develops collective cohesion from individual performance. The goal is for cadets to gain self-confidence through accomplishment of tough training.

During Advanced Camp each cadet will have several opportunities to serve in leadership positions, allowing cadets to demonstrate their leadership ability and technical skills. The cadet's leadership performance along with scores from the Army physical fitness and land navigation tests, rifle marksmanship and tactics make up the cadet's final grade.

At the completion of camp, most cadets will attend a three-week leadership internship at an Army post in the States, the Republic of Korea or Germany.

More information about the Blue Jay ROTC Battalion can be found on the Web at