It was a picture perfect day for flying Thursday afternoon, when four United States Army Blackhawk helicopters touched down on the rugby pitch of Niagara University. They came to pick up 80 ROTC cadets and bring them to a Joint Leadership Field Exercise at Fort Drum, NY. The cadets are part of the Army's Reserve Officers Training Corps at Niagara University, Canisius College and St. Bonaventure University.
"The cadets from all three programs are very excited about the opportunity to work with cadets from other ROTC detachments," said Lieutenant Colonel Gary Love, Chairman of the Military Science Department at Niagara University. "The integration of aviation assets into the training has bolstered the excitement level and anticipation of the cadets, most of whom have never ridden on an Army aircraft."
The Joint Leadership Field Exercise will last four days and use basic soldier tasks and tactical training scenarios to help cadets gain confidence in their abilities to make decisions in stressful environments, according to LTC Love. "The cadets will be thrown into a group of individuals they do not know and will build a team and work together throughout the training, enhancing their communication, interpersonal, and teamwork skills."
The ROTC program is designed to augment the college experience and provide students with the skills necessary to effectively run a student club, small business, or Army platoon. The cadets from Niagara University, Canisius College and St. Bonaventure University will be back in their classrooms next week.