Hoya Battalion’s Newsletter
The Extended Version
19 May, 2006- 10 September, 2006
Table of Contents
Summer Training ………..…………………… c/ Houston ……………………p.3
Update from Abroad ................................................................................................. p.5
Credit for ROTC?....................………… c/ Lane …………………………………p.7
The Czech Republic- End of Conscription….……………c/ Mayer….……………p.8
Army Transformation…………c/ Price……………………………………………p.10
Robot Wars- A New Hope?.........................c/ Perkins………………………………p.13
FTX Robin Sage- A Crash Course in Infantry Life………..c/Thomas……………p.14
General Peter Pace Visits Georgetown……………………c/Forster……………...p.15
An Interview with the past c/BC……………………c/ Lane………………………p.17
Organization Day……………………c/ MaCaskill…………………………….…..p.21
Evolving with the Times: The Army of the 21st Century…….c/ Hontz……………p. 23
Setting the Bar- The Army Legacy of MSG Frye………….c/ Shepard……………p 25
MS I Stories .………………..c/ Kremer……………………………………………p.26
by c/Josh Houston
The Hoya Battalion offers cadets the opportunity to attend several Army schools during the
summer throughout their four years as a cadet. These training opportunities give cadets practical,
hands-on skills that can be applied to their career as a commissioned officer as well as their stint
Airborne School, Air Assault School, Cadet Troop Leadership Training
(CTLT), Robin Sage, and Mountain Warfare courses are routinely made available
to cadets. With training pressure and the realities of being an Army at war, in
recent years the number of slots open to cadets has declined, but the importance of experiencing
this training as a cadet has certainly not.
The most popular summer training course, Airborne School is conducted at Ft. Benning,
Georgia. The hot and humid weather during summer in Georgia (to which I am all too
accustomed) makes the physical and mental aspects of this training especially demanding. The
first week of training, called ―Ground Training,‖ introduces cadets to the individual skills needed
to successfully jump from an airplane. ―Tower Training‖ follows the next week, with soldiers
learning mass exit procedures for jumping from an aircraft and practicing their individual skills
on a 250-foot free-fall tower. Finally, the last week,
called ―Jump Training,‖ is where all these skills come
together. The entire week is dedicated to each solider
successfully completing 5 jumps. Following completion
of these jumps and other requirements, cadets are
awarded their wings during a graduation ceremony.
c/CPT Ryan Lawson said of Airborne School that it
―was a mixed experience. On one hand there was a lot
of formality and mindless repetition, but on the other
hand there was the pride in becoming a member of the
Airborne community and the awesome rush of jumping
out of an airplane.‖
Typically, the Hoya Battalion sends 5-7 cadets to earn their wings each summer. While most
cadets that attend this school are in their MSII or MSIII year, one MSI cadet is chosen each year
to attend Airborne School—c/Alex Lezama, an MSI, will make the trip to Ft. Benning this
summer. A cadet must complete the APFT with a score of 180 or better to qualify and finish a
four-mile formation run in 36 minutes or less once they arrive at Airborne School.
Air Assault School, a 10-day course at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, teaches
procedures for aero-medical evacuations, pathfinder operations, sling load
operations, rappelling, and combat assault operations. At the end of this
school, cadets will have close familiarization with all aspects of Army
helicopter operations. There are several requirements for graduation, including written and
hands-on tests and a 12-mile road march. Due to the limited capacity at these courses, typically
only one cadet is chosen from the Hoya Battalion for this school, although in recent years there
have been times where no slots have been available. During his time as a cadet, Mr. Irby
attended Air Assault school.
Cadet Troop Leadership Training (CTLT) is a much different summer
training experience. Following the completion of LDAC, cadets can volunteer
for this training which places them in an almost internship-like position with
an active duty Army unit. The cadet shadows a PL, assisting in day-to-day activities and
eventually taking over some leadership responsibilities towards the end of the three-week
experience. c/CPT Lawson participated in this program after LDAC, assigned to 2-27 Infantry
―Wolfhounds‖ of the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. ―Upon my arrival I
became the acting Platoon Leader of 3rd Platoon, C Company. I had all the responsibilities of a
real PL including planning and leading PT, doing necessary paperwork, ensuring the
maintenance and inspection of equipment, and formulating the training plan in preparation for
the next scheduled deployment to Iraq,‖ he said. ―I came to realize that so much of being a good
officer is really caring for your soldiers in everything they do and providing them with every
opportunity to succeed and survive. I am in awe of the capabilities and dedication of the average
soldier in the United States Army, and cannot wait until I get another chance to lead a platoon of
my own. My CTLT certainly made a positive and lasting impression on me.‖
For cadets looking for a slightly different experience, the opportunity to actively participate
in Special Forces training awaits them at Camp MacKall, North Carolina. Working alongside
active duty military personnel and trained civilians, cadets assume the role of guerillas in a
training scenario that involves contacting and working with Special Forces candidates.
Throughout this training, cadets are exposed to mission planning, troop leading procedures,
small unit tactics like ambushes and recons, air operations, demolition, weapons, and a variety of
other skills. This hands-on experience in a very unique training environment is an excellent
opportunity to learn practical skills that cadets will encounter once they commission. c/Spencer
Bruning, an MSIII, completed Robin Sage, and says that the experience was very different than
other Army training he‘s encountered because of its autonomy and the hands-on skills he learned
from Special Forces candidates.
Mountain Warfare School, located in Jericho, Vermont, teaches its students the skills
necessary to effectively conduct small-unit operations in difficult mountainous terrain. This two-
week long course includes intense physical demands, such as daily 8-10 km ruck marches, and
mental rigors, including extensive land navigation and a thorough knowledge of knots and rope
systems. c/CPT Lawson, who also attended Mountain Warfare
school, said of the course that every night was spent ―studying
the course material and practicing rope systems and
knots. There were 12 practical exams in all and they included
land navigation, knots, rappelling, rock climbing, rope systems,
and a written exam. It does not take long to realize why there is
a need for the Mountain Warfare School, because the rugged
and uneven terrain makes even the simplest of tasks much
harder that it otherwise would be.‖ ―You will not find better
chow than what is served at Mountain Warfare School (and I
am not being sarcastic),‖ he added.
MSI and MSII cadets should make themselves aware of the opportunities to attend one or
more of these summer courses. Many MSIIIs and MSIVs have attended these schools and they
can be great resources for learning about entrance requirements, subjects taught at the school,
and how best to prepare oneself for the rigors of the course. Seeking out and participating in
these schools will not only enhance our experiences in ROTC, but also prepare us to be better
officers, equipped with these specialized skills.
Thanks to c/CPT Ryan Lawson and c/ Spencer Bruning for their insights and contributions to
Updates From Abroad
My Dearest Hoya Battalion,
Ahoj! Jak se mate? As most of you know, I‘ve been spending this semester in Prague, Czech
Republic and it has been simply wonderful. Actually, as soon as we arrived in Prague and
realized Central & Eastern Europe was going through the most severe winter since the 70s, I
knew I had to travel in order to keep from developing chronic depression. So, Prague has been
more of a home base than anything else. Though I won‘t make my goal of 14 countries in 4
months, I will make it to 12 and I guess I can settle for that!
Though I‘m not yet positive, I think Istanbul will be my favorite study abroad memory. I am
now thoroughly infatuated with the culture and the people. Each time we heard the Muazzin
giving the Adhan, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of how crazy blessed I am to be
experiencing this semester.
Anyway, I hope you all had great semesters and that you didn‘t miss me too much. I‘m very
much looking forward to escaping the mullets and being back in my U S of A in May!
Naschle & Nemini Cedimus~
As some of you may know, I elected to spend this semester in Barcelona, away from my
beloved George Washington University. Little did I know that GW was coming with me. Of the
nearly 500 students in my program, more than 50 are from GW, so there is no shortage of black
stretch pants, velour tops, and oversized Gucci sunglasses. Barcelona is not exactly what I
expected. Mullets are everywhere; they are inexplicably the fashionable hairstyle for males in my
age range. Though the mullets are by no means as heinous as their American counterparts, it is
difficult to take the people wearing them seriously. Also, as I have always lacked the requisite
Oakleys and collection of Airborne t-shirts like my former roommate Ryan Lawson or the flare
jeans of my other former roommate Timothy Mastrogiacomo, I have never considered myself
fashionable. Spanish clothing stores have taken me to a new low. I can‘t tell where the women‘s
department ends and the men‘s begins, if it does at all.
Despite the style trends, Spain is a great place to be. The people of Barcelona have a reputation
within Spain as being snobby, self-righteous people lacking in fundamental interpersonal skills.
After almost four months here I can say that nothing is further from the truth. Everyone here has
been very kind to me and eager to help me learn a word or two in Spanish. After I leave I know I
will look back on my experience here as an enlightening and worthwhile time. America is still
the most awesome place in the world, though.
Well, this is my last week in Beijing, and these last three months have been a blast. China is
home to some of the most unbelievable things, and the most entertaining people. I have seen
things I never thought I would ever see. I have seen a cloud of smog so thick that I couldn't see a
block down the street, I have seen college students play duck duck goose on the campus quad,
and I have seen a man pull another man's pants down in the campus gym for no particular reason.
"So," you might ask, "What is it like spending a semester in Beijing?" Well, spending a
semester abroad in Beijing is basically a lot like having a three and a half month long spring
break in a city where almost everything is legal. Not to
mention that I now consider 8:15 to be an early time to wake
up. Every weekend a bus takes us to different museums and
to different sights. The coolest trip we took was when we
went to the Great Wall. Impressive takes on a new meaning.
I hope all of you in Hoya had a great semester. I'll be
seeing you soon!
Hello from Hong Kong.
If any of you are looking for an interesting place to study abroad, Hong Kong is a good
choice. From the mixture of European influence and Chinese culture it really is an interesting
place. You would also be hard pressed to find a nicer harbor skyline than Hong Kong in the
The travel possibilities from Hong Kong, being within 2 hours flight from a half dozen
different countries, are also probably only second to central Europe in ease of travel. Hong Kong
is a definite must on anyone‘s Asia travel plan. Hope you all had a good semester, will be glad to
be getting back to normal come September.
Bravo Company still leads the way (even international)
Credit for ROTC
―During the Vietnam War, Georgetown nearly kicked the Army ROTC program off campus. As a
compromise, they let them stay — but reduced the credits awarded from 16 to zero, ultimately
settling on 6. Three decades later, Georgetown’s policy for awarding academic credit for
courses taken in the ROTC program has gone unchanged.”
The history of ROTC has been a rocky one. Starting with
the Morrill Act of 1862, which disbursed federal funding for
―land-grant‖ schools but stipulated that they teach military tactics
(under a program known as ROTC) to all of their students, ROTC
has been the driving force in producing officers for our nation‘s
military since then. With the advent of U.S. involvement in
Vietnam and all of the anti-war protesting that accompanied it,
however, ROTC was dropped as a mandatory requirement for all
students and was switched to a volunteer program at most colleges
and universities. At many elite schools, though, the anti-war
sentiment was so entrenched that ROTC simply could not survive.
At ivy-league schools like Harvard and Columbia, the programs
were disbanded altogether and interested students were forced to
find options off campus.
Here on the hilltop, ROTC was allowed to stay. As a consequence of their association
with the Army, however, cadets were stripped of all academic credit stemming from
participation in the program – a total of 16 credits over four years. Despite the fact that the
curriculum did not change nor did the mission, ROTC was relegated from a viable academic
department down to a simple extra-curricular overnight for no other reason than a change in the
tide of public opinion.
In the years since, Georgetown has began to award a total of 9 credits for Army ROTC
over four years – ½ a credit for each semester during the first three years and 3 credits for each
semester during the final year. Even these 9 credits were a hard fought battle, with the initial
proposal for 12 credits being scaled down by the office of the provost in early 2005.
Equality is one of the main concerns for cadets at Georgetown today. Down the road at
George Washington University (where DC‘s Navy ROTC program is housed), students earn up
to 24 credits for graduation for participation. Such a vast difference in credit forces Georgetown
cadets to take many more courses than their counterparts at other schools, putting a significantly
greater time constraint on them and essentially handicapping them.
The struggle for more credit will likely kick up again in the near future. With the recent
election of Twister Murchison as president of the Georgetown University Students Association,
increasing ROTC credit will become a higher priority than it has been in the past. As he states,
―the issue of ROTC credit is an important one both for GUSA and myself, and we fully intend to
work with the Hoya Batallion to develop a new proposal for credit to be presented during the fall
semester.‖ With any luck, Georgetown cadets just may have a few more credits to their name
come next spring.
The Czech Republic- The End of Conscription
The Final Conscripts
The year 2005 marked the first year for
the Czech military as a Professional
Army. The Czech government made the
decision in 2001 hoping to have it
completed by 2007. The transformation
process progressed faster than expected
and so after 136 years of a mandatory stint in
the military for all young men,
conscription has come to an end.
I had the opportunity to interview Colonel
Lubomir Privetivy. He has been the head
of the Military Education department for
10 years at the Charles University here in Prague. The Officers and NCOs that he is in charge of
are men and women who are in charge of the physical preparation of the troops, in Colonel
Privetivy words, ―Sports Officers‖.
We discussed many things, the end of conscription being one. Colonel Privetivy had the same
thoughts as I‘m sure all of us have.
―The program is the same but it‘s a little better because we now have men and women who want
to be here. [Obviously soldiers are] obliged to train and when we had conscripts it was a little
difficult to force them to do everything….Now it is easier for commanders to perform the
necessary military exercises.‖
Why should we as Cadets in the US care about the end of conscription in the Czech
Republic? It‘s not only historical significant but it‘s the continuation of a trend that‘s been
spreading throughout Western and Eastern Europe.
In the last 6 years, Italy, France, Spain, Slovenia, and Hungary have ended conscription
service. The Netherlands switched over in the 90s and both Austria and Greece are in the process
of creating Professional Armies.
A few countries that are holding out are Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia along with
several Eastern European states.
Why has much of Europe ended the practice? Many military experts back up Col. Privetivy‘s
thoughts that conscripts are ―expensive to call up and then feed, clothe, house and train, but are
of little use in a modern fighting force.‖ At the end of the training, the men serve a 12-24 month
stint before leaving the military, most without even the smallest consideration of staying longer.
With the change in warfare, armies across the world now have a greater need for soldiers who
are technologically proficient and that training is also expensive. It‘s also not easy to force
conscripts to learn the intricacies of complex military technology if they do not want to be there
in the first place.
Worldwide Conscription Service
Green: No armed services Blue: No active conscription Orange: Plan for conscription to be
abolished within three years Red: Conscription Gray: No information
(Map from Wikipedia.com)
Most countries have made the switch with relative ease. Spain is the only country who had major
recruitment problems and when they did, they started to recruit in South America and ended up
with an additional 300 recruits.
Without conscription, is the process just like ours?
In the Czech Republic, the process of enlisting is very similar to ours in the US. The process for
becoming an officer is becoming increasing competitive.
Colonel Privetivy discussed how each year around 1000 students apply to officer training
program throughout the country. On average, only 200 students are accepted.
In recent years, the application process has developed into a two tiered system. The students
submit a paper application and if they make it to the next round, they are tested at one of the
three military schools in the Czech Republic. There they spend the day being tested in science
and English language. Then they are given the Czech Version of the physical aptitude test. From
this testing the final 200 students are chosen.
One of the most interesting topics Col. Privetivy and I touched upon was the change in the
military since the fall of communism. ―When the Czech Republic was communist, the people
didn‘t want to be in the Army, nowadays the situation is completely different.‖ The Czech Army
has become significantly smaller in the last 10 years. In 1993 there were 92,599 soldiers
compared with 30,470 in 2004. The Army plans on only getting smaller too, with the target size
of the Czech Republic‘s Professional Army of 26,200 soldiers.
Despite the drastic downsizing of the Czech military, they are still currently deployed in four
world conflicts. Czech units are a part of the European Union‘s peacekeeping mission in Bosnia
and Herzegovina, and with NATO in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
Overall, the modernization of the Czech military has made a smaller, stronger force that is more
integrated into the rest of Europe and will continue to play a role in the region‘s affairs.
Central European Studies Review ―Tendencies in the Czech Armed Forces at the Turn of the
Millenium‖ available online at: <http://www.cepsr.cz/clanek.php?ID=237>
20April2006 with Colonal Lubimir Privetivy in Prague, Czech Republic at 0900
c/CPL Nathan Price
As former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Shinseki said in his speech launching Army
transformation in October 1999, the Army must become a ―strategically responsive force that is
dominant across the full spectrum of operations.‖ FM 1, ―The Army,‖ defines full spectrum
operations as combining offensive, defensive, stability and reconstruction, and civil support
operations. In other words, winning the conventional maneuver-warfare fight is only part of the
Army‘s overall mission. It must also be prepared to secure US strategic objectives in overseas
campaign follow-on operations or in localized, small scale conflicts abroad. The civil support
operations component of full spectrum operations reflects the necessity of the US Army to be
ready to assist in incidents surpassing the capabilities of civilian authorities. This is a diverse set
of tasks, and the Cold War era Army is unsuited to perform them.
1. Army Operations
The solution to 21st century demands is a dramatic
vision that looks far into the cloudy future. It is for soldiers
to be, as Gen. Shinseki put it, ―On point for the
nation…persuasive in peace, invincible in war.‖ This is the
basic vision for transformation. It is fleshed out further
with an overriding requirement, a guiding principle, and
finally an objective statement. The overriding requirement
for the vision is that the Army maintains its readiness at all
times. The guiding principle is the understanding that
people—soldiers and families—are the centerpiece of
Army capabilities and represent the most important
element of change. Finally, the objective is for the Army to
become more responsive, deployable, agile, versatile,
lethal, survivable, and sustainable. Ambiguity is
intentionally built into the vision in recognition that Army leaders cannot foresee what the world
will hold years from now. It allows for transformation itself to be adapted according to changing
There is, of course, a concrete game plan bounded by the vision. In a nutshell, it is the
brigade combat team (BCT), alternatively known as the ―unit of action‖ (UA). The Army is
currently in the process of reorganizing the force to make the brigade the primary independent
combat unit as opposed to the division. The newly created Stryker brigades are one example of
the new BCT schematic. They have the ability to deploy anywhere in the world within 96 hours
and fight for three days with the equipment they carry, allowing the US to project true combat
power across the globe virtually on demand. Stryker brigades operate with wheeled, lightly
armored vehicles that afford good protection and firepower whilst allowing for ease of
2. Stryker vehicles can be transported quickly via air
―Modular‖ is the key word in understanding the
significance of the BCT schematic. In the event that large
forces are needed for a situation, additional BCTs can be
stacked together like Lego blocks. Each brigade will have
an organic combined arms capability rather than utilizing
division support elements. That is, each BCT will have its
own fires, reconnaissance, intelligence, engineers, logistics,
etc. This gives each BCT greater freedom to act.
In the near future there are three types of BCTs envisioned. These are the Army‘s maneuver
elements. They are Infantry, Stryker, and Heavy (armored/mechanized). Other more
multifunctional support brigades complement the BCTs and are also organized as combined arms
units. They include aviation, battlefield surveillance, maneuver enhancement, fires, and
sustainment. Each accomplishes a broad function, such as protection in the case of maneuver
enhancement brigades. In addition, theater-level single-function commands or brigades (e.g.,
Army air and missile defense commands) round out the campaign quality modular force.
3. Modular Conversion
Some believe that in the long term the line between heavy and light forces will be
blurred, resulting in all BCTs utilizing an armored vehicle much like the current Stryker
vehicle. This vehicle family would have common parts; each vehicle would differ slightly
according to its purpose (direct fire, indirect fire, command and control, etc.). This concept is
known as the ―Future Combat System‖ and is part of the ―objective force.‖ No one knows
exactly what this objective force will look like, only that it will be modular. It will become
clearer as the Army continues with transformation.
4. Conceptual FCS Vehicles
Modularization is being carried out as we speak. In fact, Stryker brigades have already
operated in Iraq. The Army is modularizing in the midst of the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan
by ―resetting‖ units when they rotate out of theatre. In addition to the obvious structural changes,
resetting includes additional training, equipment modernization, and professional
development. This brings us to an important point. Transformation is not directly equitable to
modularization. It includes rebalancing the force by training soldiers in more currently relevant
occupational specialties such as civil affairs and military intelligence. It includes stabilizing the
force by assigning soldiers to brigades for longer periods of time, thus allowing soldiers and
families to stay in one place in order to maximize training and quality of life. Transformation is
integrating new technology into the force immediately so that it can be continually tested and
reworked as opposed to waiting years for perfection, and about networking communications and
leveraging information as a battlefield tool.
5. Modularization Schedule
Transformation most of all is a new way of thinking. It is about fostering a climate of
professionalism and creativity within the Army. Transformation is changing Army culture so that
our soldiers may innovate in order to stay one step ahead of the enemy. Our Army is one that
will face many challenges in the 21st century. An open mindset and a staunch commitment to
principles are necessary to stay both strategically adaptive and morally grounded in a world of
devious attacks and unethical behavior. Without the ingenuity and resolve of soldiers, neither
transformation nor the Army itself will succeed.
Former Army CSA Gen. Shinseki‘s Speech launching transformation. Available online at:
FM 1 ―The Army.‖
2004 Army Transformation Roadmap. July 2004.
AUSA Army Magazine Hooah Guide to Transformation.
Robot Wars: A New Hope?
c/CPL Rob Perkins
The U.S. Military is taking a long, hard look at a new type of soldier to fight the insurgency
in Iraq and the ongoing war on terror. This soldier can scope out dangerous areas like the insides
of buildings, or can draw or suppress fire in busy streets. The best part is that this soldier has no
familial or romantic attachments, because this soldier is a robot.
With 95 soldiers and Marines dead in 2006 due to IED attacks, troops have already begun to
modify robots to carry grenades and other weapons. With a nod to their ingenuity, the Pentagon
has begun testing on a version of the Talon robot, fitting it with an M240 Bravo machine gun.
The robot is remote controlled, ensuring that soldiers are ultimately responsible for its actions. In
addition to the testing of robot infantry the military is looking at unmanned vehicles, which could
significantly cut down on casualties in convoys, a prime target for insurgents.
Thus far the robots being tested are remote
controlled rather than possessing artificial
intelligence. With a wealth of literature and film
on the subject of robots, the military should be
certain to be careful about keeping control of the
machines securely in the hands of humans.
The increased testing of robots and their
eventual use comes amid reports and rumors of
branch restructuring and downsizing. According
to 2LT Paul Rickmeyer, a Hoya Battalion
graduate of 2005 and Armor officer, the class of
2005 will be the last to focus on heavy armor
(Abrams tanks), with future classes concentrating
more on scout operations with lighter armored
vehicles, such as the Bradley. Field Artillery units
are already performing patrols like Infantry units,
and ADA is rumored to be folded into the Air
Force some time in the not too distant future. The
already small Finance Corps is said to be downsizing,
with some of its functions moving to the private sector. The many changes, robotics and
otherwise, are symptomatic of the military‘s need to adapt to a constantly changing situation and
a new type of warfare.
FTX Robin Sage: Crash Course in the Infantry Life
c/CPL Stephen Thomas
FTX Robin Sage, better known as Phase IV of the Special Forces Qualification Course, is
designed to test Special Forces (SF) trainees on their specialized skills, general soldiering tasks
and most importantly their ability to interact and cooperate with an indigenous population. The
trainees range from seasoned NCOs and officers (only O3 and up need apply) to 18 X-rays, who
have signed contracts specifically to join the SF after completing basic training, AIT and
Airborne School. Regardless of age or rank, the SF trainees were consummate professionals,
extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and quick to adapt to any situation. Robin Sage is, as
cadets are often reminded, about the trainees and their training experience, not the role-playing
However, since this is the cadet perspective, it is worthwhile to mention exactly what is
expected of role players in Robin Sage. One is expected to formulate a back-story and a
pseudonym to fit the geopolitical situation of Pineland, the fictitious nation for which the role
players fight as part of an insurgent force. The Phase IV cadre hands out packets of information
detailing geography, socioeconomic information and political data pertinent to the conflict that
Pineland is involved in. These scenarios vary from detachment to detachment, but the overall
premise remains the same for both SF and cadets: train to overthrow a corrupt regime and install
Cadets arrive at camp sites three days ahead of the SF teams to rehearse their roles, gather
supplies and set up the patrol base. Prior to departure cadets draw food and equipment, notably
black BDUs and weapons. Typical weaponry includes the M4 and AK-47, firing blank
ammunition to make the training as real as possible. Each ODA (operational detachment Alpha)
is assigned a guerilla chief, a former SF soldier who volunteers his time. An MSIV assigned to
Robin Sage for CTLT acts as ―SGT MAJ‖ and keeps the camp in order, delegating most tasks to
team leaders. Each ODA was typically 30 members, all cadets with varying levels of experience.
Upon arrival at the site via two-ton trucks, ODAs establish a cadre camp and leave roughly
10 members to act as OPFOR, to harass the SF team as they attempt to coordinate their guerillas
into a coherent force. The bulk of the cadets then move perhaps half a kilometer away to
establish the guerilla camp, set up their living space, draw drinking water from nearby water
sources and begin to formulate their backgrounds and collaborate with other team members.
These first days are spent largely in acclimatization to field life, hauling wood for the fire and
trying to stay relatively clean and dry. For those cadets interested in the infantry, this is where
you learn what sustained operations in the field are really like.
The SF team typically arrives after the third day. They are exhausted from marching through
thick vegetation, haggling in secret negotiations with your guerilla chief, and probably being
harassed by the OPFOR during their nights in a safe house. Yet, they immediately try to establish
a rapport with the guerillas, which they cannot identify as cadets other than by their relative
youth. This is often complicated by the guerilla chief, who is typically assigned the role of a war
criminal, and will establish this fact by rough treatment of prisoners or his own guerillas. The
cadre will note how the SF teams react to this, and whether they file a report of the incident.
Summary execution of enemy forces at close range is often a preferred method, as it leaves no
doubt as to the guilt of guerilla chief. The moral dilemma for the SF team is clear, but the course
of action is intentionally left ambiguous.
There are only 14 days to execute the exercise, as opposed to the months or years SF may
work with a population in a real conflict. As a result, the cadre (called ―ghosts‖) will inform the
SF team when they have appropriately gained the trust of the guerillas, and when they are
sufficiently trained to carry out missions. At this point the SF team can begin to instruct in basic
soldier skills such as battle drills, weapons maintenance and operation, patrol base activities and
the arrangement of defensive positions. Failure to do this results often in a devastating ambush
which forces the ODA to tear down camp in the space of an hour and move to a different
location, either on foot or by truck. The frustration and consternation this typically causes raises
tensions among guerillas and SF alike, and secondary camps are often fortified extensively. Due
to an airdrop operation, my ODA received a mortar tube and extra rations and thus dug in deeply
on a peninsula jutting into a lake.
Missions executed by SF/guerilla teams range from ambush to prisoner snatches to attacks on
infrastructure such as power plants. Each mission has the stated aim of demoralizing the enemy
while not extensively harming the local populace, whom the guerillas and SF rely on for support.
The local population does in fact play a role. Civilian volunteers give food, water, transportation
and other essential assets to FTX Robin Sage. Without their help, the ODAs would be unable to
move freely or be resupplied. This, too, mimics the actions of local populations who supply and
shield rebel causes. In return, of course, the guerillas and SF are expected to protect the
population. One mission was strictly a vengeance ambush to eliminate a corrupt government
group hurting a local family. These extensive ties to the community are brought full circle in the
conclusion of the exercise, as SF teams do community service to repay their debt to the civilians
who volunteer their property and time to allow for this unique training opportunity.
I found Robin Sage to be a complete immersion in infantry life, which ranged from the
exhilarating to the mind-numbing, but which overall led me to a greater appreciation of the
difficulty of the mission of the infantry and Special Forces. I participated in an ambush, in
guiding a plane in to land via flares, in the previously mentioned power plant assault, and in the
final mission to capture the corrupt president of Pineland. Cadets will find their time well-spent,
although there are significant hours spent sleeplessly on security, and days without what we
consider adequate food. This, however, is part of the FTX as well, a test for all involved of
fortitude, if only for two weeks. This is a valuable and essential training experience for those
interested in military intelligence and combat branches, as it explicates better than any other
event the hands-on application of human resources, combat techniques and field-craft
techniques. To spend one‘s time well, one must ask questions of the SF trainees and learn from
them, and take each lesson to heart. While one realizes it is in the context of an FTX, many
trainees are combat veterans, and know very well how to live in isolation for extended periods.
The final lesson, therefore, is to pay attention and learn as much as you can. This is an SF
exercise, and cadets are only a small part. Yet, there is much that can be taken away from Robin
General Peter Pace Visits Georgetown
One Wednesday night in February—February 8, 2006 just before 1800 to be exact—six of
the Hoya Battalion‘s cadets snapped to a particularly sharp-looking parade rest, and did not leave
it for well over an hour. c/CPT Quinby, as usual, captured the sentiment best, explaining, ―the
toughest part: parade rest. Holy Jesus.‖ Indeed. But, despite what many may think when
presented with such an ordeal (and it was), all six of us who were there heartily contend it was
well worth the sore-shoulders afterward.
host to the Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, General Peter
Pace (USMC), who
was sworn in as the
16th chairman in
September 2005. At
the event held in the
Library General Pace,
surrounded by many
esteemed guests from
political scene, was
Georgetown University‘s President‘s Medal. The University presents this award yearly in
recognition of those individuals in careers of leadership and service that advance ideals and
objectives in line with Georgetown's mission.
As for the Battalion‘s role in the evening, Color Guard NCOIC Darren Withers, with the
guidance of MSG Frye, assembled five other volunteers for the night‘s events—cadets Faller,
Forster, Lane, Perkins, and Quinby. The team of six served as the welcome detail for the arrival
of the guests. Once the guests had arrived and were seated for the night‘s dinner and speeches,
the Battalion‘s volunteers were very graciously provided dinner and allowed in Riggs to hear the
General‘s speech. c/CPT Quinby captures the picture well: ―The event overall was also an
impressive affair. Lots of important people, polished atmosphere, and most astounding of all, I
got to see Riggs library.‖ Particularly notable also was General Pace‘s speech. Cadet Faller
remembers, ―General Pace seemed very humble and honored to be receiving the award‖ and
made a particular point of thanking military families and the sacrifices these had made.
Dinner finished and speeches said, the event was not quite finished for the Battalion‘s Color
Guard detail. Oh, no. In fact, the best was yet to come. As c/SFC Withers put the team back in
position for the General‘s departure, the careful planning was quite pleasantly put awry when
General Pace gathered the cadets together for pictures and thanks. c/CPL Lane explains that,
―upon finally meeting the general I found him to be both pleasant and genuine—someone who
did not make you feel uncomfortable despite his lofty position.‖ Indeed, as Cadet Faller put it,
we were all extremely ―impressed by the fact that General Pace took the time to take individual
pictures with each of us‖ and meet us all one-on-one.
Cadet Lane perhaps provides the best critique of the evening overall, ―standing at parade rest
for that long was excruciating, but the dinner that followed, as well as the opportunity to meet
the Chairman, more than made up for the pain.‖ Agreed.
An Interview with the Cadet Battalion Commander
c/CPL Bill Lane
As the school year approaches its end and the members of
the Hoya Battalion prepare to scatter across the globe—some
never again to return as cadets—I took the opportunity to sit
down with c/LTC Scott Eshom: Cadet Battalion Commander,
student at American University, and soon-to-be 2nd Lieutenant in
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His remarks concerning the
passing of yet another year into the history books, as well as his
insights pertaining to an assortment of other topics, proved to be
both positive and enlightening…
Lane: Looking back at this year, how would you say it compared
to the past—was this a successful year for the Battalion?
Eshom: As a whole I think it was a very successful year. For one
thing, we were able to accomplish the German Proficiency Badge for the cadets who were
qualified to do it and we fostered a relationship with the German military thanks to Lieutenant
Domrich, which was wonderful. Hopefully we can have a continuing relationship with the
Germans in the future. I also think it was a successful year in that we have several visiting
cadets—this semester particularly—who were thinking about going back to their schools but
who now might actually stick around—I don‘t need to name names but I‘ll just say that—and
other cadets who were thinking about leaving the program, going to West Point or what not, who
have decided to stay. I think that shows that we do have a quality program and that it‘s definitely
worth staying in, checking out, and giving a chance.
L: You have a position that involves a lot more work and dedication than most others… What did
you get out of being Battalion Commander and was it difficult serving in this capacity as a non-
E: I got a couple hundred dollars worth of parking tickets… In regards to it being difficult
because I‘m not a Georgetown student—yeah it was, a little bit. But I think it‘s good when that
leadership is spread around the Battalion and I think possibly next year it will be again—that‘s a
good thing to have. As far as being battalion commander, I got to know how to deal with people
on different levels. While they‘re your friends in some respects, you have to be their superior in
others. I still need to improve on that, but I learned a great deal about myself and about
others. That is stuff I hope to build upon and I think it prepared me very well for being a
L: You’re about a month away from commissioning—are you looking forward to becoming a 2nd
Lieutenant? Do you know what to expect, or will it be more of a surprise?
E: I‘m really looking forward to becoming a second lieutenant. It will be a surprise because I
initially came to this program freshman year with no knowledge of the Army whatsoever; I
didn‘t know what a salute was, I didn‘t know what an officer was—I really didn‘t know the
difference between anything. Now I‘ll be going into a lifestyle that still a lot of my friends and
family don‘t know or are still trying to get to know. So I can‘t really relate to people back home
too much, but one thing that will help the transition is that I‘ve made a lot of good friends here
and I think a lot of the MSIVs can say the same thing. It‘s an important network that we have—
through the MSIVs and even the other cadets and also through the cadre, and it will help in the
transition so I think that everyone‘s pretty excited.
L: Why Engineers? What do you hope to be doing with them?
E: Well Engineers wasn‘t my first choice, to be honest. But that said, I‘m looking forward to it—
to the challenge of learning to do what an engineer actually does while having an International
Relations degree—it should be interesting; I really don‘t think it matters too much what you
major in as far as I understand.
L: Do you have an idea of what the day-to-day life of an engineer is?
E: To be honest Bill, I still don‘t; but in addition to building buildings, I look forward to building
a rapport with my soldiers.
L: I’ve always heard that serving with the Corps of Engineers provides some great training for a
possible civilian career down the road…
E: I‘ve definitely heard that also. With regard to career service or not—I don‘t know. It‘s
definitely something that I‘m thinking about. I think that I‘ll enjoy the Army, that I‘ll do well
and that it will open a lot doors—and I think I can contribute to it, not just me taking from it, but
giving to it as well. So I look forward to learning more about it to be honest. You can only learn
so much in R.O.T.C., through reading books, and stuff like that… but really living the life—
that‘s when you know.
L: What do you feel you’ve gotten out of the program
during the last four years and what has been the most
difficult thing for you as a cadet?
E: Learning how to manage my time… it‘s still one of
my weaknesses and I hope to continue to build upon
that. It requires a lot later in life also—prioritizing,
managing your time and what not—it is very, very
important, and I‘ve learned that it‘s very important; I
haven‘t learned exactly how to master it yet, but I think
very few people do exactly master it.
The most rewarding thing has been simply dealing with different kinds of people. Many
people in the country have the perception of soldiers as being not the most intelligent, or
uneducated. In all honesty I came into the program thinking that as well, and I was very
surprised with the level of education—of everyone. It‘s not just our program: it‘s officers across
the country. So the greatest thing is learning that there‘s a very important part of the American
society that many people don‘t understand and I now understand it and I‘m about to join it—I
think that‘s very valuable.
L: That leads well into my next question… Why did you choose the Army, and why R.O.T.C.
E: R.O.T.C. was initially a financial choice first off. I was also interested in serving. I looked at
maybe applying to West Point but I decided not to. I decided that I wanted the college
experience. So those three things—the college experience, monetary support, and serving my
country—really tied together with R.O.T.C. With respect to the Army: simply, why not?
L: What sort of advice do you have for both the MSIIIs who will be taking over as well as the
underclassmen? Is there anything that you wish you had done differently?
E: Continue to foster friendships and relationships with your peers, both superior and
subordinate. It‘s very, very important to understand their backgrounds. It‘s a skill that you can
use, from what I understand, with your platoon later on. Really understanding them—not just
your day-to-day impressions—but really trying to get to know them, sitting them down, and
talking to them, being friendly. It‘s something I try to do with people. And that‘s something I‘d
like to pass on also: you don‘t need to be a stoic, cold-faced person. While some people might
be, you can be friendly. You need to measure that friendliness with a level of professionalism,
and that‘s something I need to build upon as well. You can make friends in this program and take
it above and beyond just R.O.T.C. training. Some of my best friends in college are from this
program and not from American University necessarily.
L: What has been your fondest memory of the program and the last four years as an R.O.T.C.
E: My very first formation freshman year we didn‘t have a ride down to Reiss Hall, so we had to
take a bus. We had to wake up at 5 o‘clock in the morning or something like that to take the bus
down. We‘re wearing BDUs that were issued to us, but we don‘t know how to wear them
correctly, so our laces are hanging out—it looks pretty bad. And I‘m still wearing a necklace—
an orange bandana necklace that I had that summer, and my hair‘s all long. I‘m standing in
formation and I don‘t know how to stand at attention, I have no idea what I‘m doing. I‘m
standing there and Master Sergeant Gibbs comes up and he rips the necklace off of my neck, and
takes my bracelet—rips it off my wrist—and he tells me to cut my hair, and I very much liked
my hair at that time, so that was a very abrupt transition into R.O.T.C. I was scared at first, but
what helped me was talking to Major Chytka, meeting my now friends in R.O.T.C., and learning
how to deal with all that transition stuff. I saw people who came from military families and what
not, but I had no idea what I was doing. So my memory is simply having no idea what to do for
the first day.
As the semester wanes and spring finally breaks out in D.C., the Hoya Battalion‘s MS-IVs
face their last days as cadets. Soon they will stand at attention before Healy Hall and be
commissioned as second lieutenants in a changing Army. Their gold bars will come with
responsibility and high expectations as they head to OBC and their platoons.
The graduating class of 2006 is a cross section of
the Army. Hoya Battalion cadets are destined for the
infantry, armor, military intelligence, engineer
corps, MP‘s and medical corps. And though combat
in Afghanistan and Iraq has blurred the lines
between the branches, branch choice is still the
number one factor in career satisfaction. While some
have speculated that branches are selected by a
group of chain smoking pencil pushers in the darkest
dungeon of the Pentagon, the entire process is in fact
resolved by an IBM supercomputer. Actually there
is an exact formula that takes into account almost
everything cadets do throughout their four year
The accessions process begins in the fall of
senior year when MS-IVs compile and submit their
accessions portfolios. Ranger challenge, LDAC
performance, community service, summer schools –
everything that makes up a college career is included
in these portfolios. Nearly 3,800 cadets were
accessed for commissioning in 2006 and each one was ranked in a national order of merit
list. Cadet command guarantees the top 10% of cadets, the first 380 or so, their first choice of
branch. While this promise could be counted on in previous years, the needs of the army are
ultimately the most important factor. This year, Hoya Battalion executive officer c/Major
Johnson ranked high on the OML, well within the first ten percent, but she was not awarded her
top branch choice.
With more than fifteen choices ranging from chemical corps to field artillery, branching is
the most important choice a soon to be officer will make. Though most generals serving today
still wear the same insignia as the day they commissioned, a new generation of officers is taking
advantage of the branch detail program. Branch detail is designed to fill the incredible demands
of the infantry, armor and field artillery which, despite receiving more than half of the newly
commissioned second lieutenants, are still desperate for leaders. Because the combat arms have a
triangular officer corps, with many second lieutenants and fewer higher level officers, and the
support branches have a more diamond shaped officer corps, with relatively few second
lieutenants, more mid-level officers and few colonels and generals, the army has created a
program whereby the new lieutenants can serve in combat arms for the first several years of their
career and then shift over to their controlling support branch. ―Branch detail‖ as this program is
called has become quite popular.
Some illustrious examples of this career path include our very own Major Klein and soon to
be second lieutenant Quinby.
Sample 24-Month Branch Detail Transition
Quartermaster lieutenant detailed to a shortage branch after commissioning.
Attends Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Officer Basic Course (20 weeks).
Serves 18 months as an ADA platoon leader.
Attends 5-week Quartermaster transition course.
Returns to same installation on which he served in an ADA unit and is assigned as a
Quartermaster platoon leader or staff officer for 18 to 24 months.
Attends Combined Logistics Captains Career Course (24 weeks).
Is available for assignment to a Quartermaster unit or command anywhere in the world.
For those cadets hoping to combine the high speed excitement of the combat arms with the
practical skills and management opportunities of combat support, branch detail is perfect.
Another change offering more choice to future officers has emerged just this year. With the
‗exodus of the captains‘ a growing problem, the Army is concerned that there will not be a
sufficient officer corps to effectively fill higher level commands. In an effort to incentives a
longer commitment to service, the army now offers cadets their top choice of branch, first duty
station or an academic deference in return for a three year addition to obligatory service. Several
Hoya Battalion cadets including Bravo Company‘s c/2nd Lt. Von Bargen, have taken advantage
of this new initiative.
On a broader scale, these changes in the branch selection process reflect the shifting needs of
the army. After three years of war, retention is more important than ever and programs like
branch detail are creating incredible opportunities for young officers. With summer rapidly
approaching, and Hoya battalion cadets heading home, consider where you might be in the
coming years, and what branch you would like to take you there.
Organization Day. Every Army unit has one. Activities differ from base to base, but some
recurring favorites at bases nationwide are dunk tanks, karaoke, rock-climbing walls, football,
tug-of-war, and food—lots and lots of food. O-Day is a day for soldiers to wear civilian clothes,
let their hair down, bring their spouses and children, and spend time with their peers,
subordinates, and superiors in an informal setting.
Saturday, March 25, 2006 was
the Hoya Battalion‘s turn to let loose,
and let loose we did, in the wild and
crazy form of a kickball tournament
and barbeque. For some people, it was
a flashback to elementary school
recess, and for others, a chance to
prove that although they do
exceedingly well on the APFT, they
have no talent for team sports to speak
Planning and organization for O-Day began weeks prior to the event itself. c/CPL Robert
Perkins and c/MAJ Danielle Johnson were the event‘s primary masterminds, and the NCOICs
were c/CPL Allison Brown, c/PFC Aaron Harris, and c/PFC Molly Dapice. Cadets were
organized into carpools for transport to Bolling Air Force Base, the cadet fund was tapped for the
purchase of enough hamburgers and hotdogs to feed an army (pun intended), and logistics were
worked out for the afternoon‘s events.
Arriving earliest on site was the aforementioned command team, to ensure that the most
critical tasks—the preparation of the grill and the setup of the sound system—were completed
prior to the event‘s commencement. My particular carpool got to Bolling AFB (by means of trial
and error), not too long thereafter, but not before taking a tour of scenic Anacostia. Around
noon, the majority of the carpools from our respective universities began to arrive, and cadets
clad in shirts indicative of their MS class began to mill around—kick soccer balls, throw
Frisbees, stare at the unopened bags of chips and cookies, etc. Only a certain c/PVT David
Tannenbaum seems to have missed the memo regarding the uniform, and was properly ridiculed
for his error.
At 1200 c/CPL Perkins officially
called our motley crew to attention
(figuratively), and the first kickball
match, the MSIs vs. the MSIIIs got
underway. Though the MSIs put up a
good fight, we were ultimately unable to
defeat the MSIIIs and were resigned to
the consolation bracket. The MSIIs fell to
the MSIVs in a similar fashion, meaning
the showdown for the championship
would be between the MSIIIs and
MSIVs. Due to some questionable
counting of outs, the final outcome of the
consolation game between the MSIs and
MSIIs was declared a tie, but the MSIVs
summarily crushed the MSIIIs to win the
championship game. Their victory was made official with a rather anticlimactic opening of
bottles of sparkling grape juice, and O-Day for the Hoya Battalion came to an end.
The purpose of Organization Day is clearly a good one: relaxation within the Army
infrastructure to encourage camaraderie and bonding among members of a unit. The real Army is
often all work and all business, and though we certainly form bonds with one another in the field
and in the barracks, a normal setting gives people the opportunity to get to know one another as
people, not just as soldiers. As members of ROTC and full-time college students, we‘ve got our
plates full with all kinds of school work and Army business, and any time we reserve for civilian
fun is generally separate from the ROTC‘s sphere of influence. Though at each of our respective
schools, it is easier to interact with one another socially, the consortium aspect of our program
means that as an MSI, O-Day was the first time I saw several of my fellow cadets out of
uniform. Impromptu battalion-wide social events can be difficult to organize, so capitalizing on
established Army traditions like O-Day is beneficial to our social cohesion.
A good time was had by all who attended this year‘s O-Day festivities (lingering
discontent over outcomes of kickball games not withstanding). We all got there without too
many problems, we ate well, in blatant defiance of meteorologists, it did not rain, any injuries
sustained were not permanent, and those of us there early enough were able to watch Captain
Murray ignite a pool of lighter fluid on the ground. By those determining factors, Organization
Day 2005 was clearly a success.
Evolving With the Times: The Army of the 21st Century
When nineteen fanatical extremists pierced the veil of the American state of mind on that
cool September morning in autumn, attacking the very core of American military and economic
might, the world forever changed, and the United States military has had to continually change
with it. Ever since the US military began shifting its gears to fight the terrorist threat looming
here and abroad, many policies and doctrines have been updated to better serve this new breed of
war. Beyond innovations in tactical strategies and force deployments you would expect as we
adapt from one environment to another, modifications in our military‘s policies on appearance,
sexuality, and gender have come under increased scrutiny over the years and have finally taken
the first steps towards change.
Even though re-enlistment rates, especially within combat units, far exceeded their goals last
year, regular recruitment continued to drag in 2005, creating a problem for our already limited
size. The continued need for a strong, concerted US military presence in the world and the
persistence of these disappointing enlistment numbers are forcing military officials to reconsider
current superficial policies, like those on appearance, as a hindrance rather than a help to overall
The military has always had a strict policy about the visibility of tattoos on the body while in
uniform, but society has changed drastically since World War II. About 30 percent of Americans
between the ages of 25 and 34 have tattoos, according to a Scripps Howard News Service and
Ohio University survey. For those under age 25, the number is about 28 percent. In all, the post-
baby-boom generations are more than three times as likely as boomers to have tattoos.
Because military officials realized many post-boomer adults garnering tattoos are being
discouraged from enlisting, the US Army recently relaxed the restrictions on where tattoos could
be visible on the body. As of January 25, Army Regulation 670-1, chapter 1-8B (1) (A) was
revised stating, ―Tattoos that are not extremist, indecent, sexist or racist are allowed on the hands
and neck. Initial entry determinations will be made according to current guidance.‖ The section
further details allowable make-up for female servicemen by stating, ―Any tattoo or brand
anywhere on the head or face is prohibited except for permanent make-up.‖
―The only tattoos acceptable on the neck are those on the back of the neck,‖ said Hank
Minitrez, Army G-1 Human Resources Policy spokesman. ―The ‗back‘ of the neck is defined as
being just under the ear lobe and across the back of the head. Throat tattoos on that portion of the
neck considered the front, the ear lobe forward are prohibited.‖
Though existing servicemen now have the full right to get a respectable tattoo on these
regions, they are strongly advised to consult their chain of command before committing to
After the passage of the ―Don‘t Ask Don‘t Tell‖ policy in Congress in 1993, the issue of
homosexuality in the military has come into the center of the media‘s focus and has continued to
draw considerable media attention. The acceptance of open homosexuals in the armed forces has
sparked fierce debate among Congressional and military elite alike. Even though open
homosexuality in the military is logically and historically feasible and could possibly usher in as
many as 40,000 new recruits, we should not expect drastic change in these policies any time in
the near future.
Similar to the racial integrations of the Army in the mid- 20th century, the greatest fear
present in the current debate over open homosexuality in the military is a breakdown of unit
cohesion. Subsequent studies have shown that as long as the homosexual members of the unit are
goal oriented and focused on the completion of the mission, the task cohesion of a unit goes
unaffected. Yet the social cohesion or the bonds of friendship and fraternalism within a unit
suffers greatly to some extent. However, task cohesion is of greater concern to officials than
social cohesion. Because task cohesion has been shown to be independent of social cohesion,
varying degrees of social cohesion should have a limited affect on overall task cohesion, thus
maintaining military effectiveness. In the end, soldiers would naturally adjust and accept these
new additions to their team as they have in the past.
As the United States enters this new breed of war against global extremism, women are
playing an increasing role in its impending success. Because, now more than ever, women are
voluntarily taking up arms against the West and becoming suicide bombers, American female
soldiers are needed more than ever to handle women POWs. Additionally, the inherent nature of
the lack of a frontline in the War in Iraq has renewed the debate over females serving in combat
units like Infantry and Armor because women in support capacities have often been called upon
to defend against insurgent attacks.
Female service members eager to serve in frontline combat units have argued that instances
involving women in support units having to defend against insurgent attacks are proof enough
that women have the capabilities and determination to fight on the same level as men. Because
the nature of frontline combat units is to seek out and destroy the enemy rather than simply wait
for the enemy to show, women are barred by law from serving in such units. The Army has
stretched the limitations of those laws in recent years to include women in the Military Police
branch against the popular opinions of Congress and much of the public. Women are nearly
everywhere in the modern US military, playing an integral part in the War on Global Extremism.
The central argument against women serving in combat units has been that women can
simply not compete with men physically. Though many female soldiers feel they are qualified to
serve in combat units, many people among the US public do not. Elaine Donnelly, president of
the Center for Military Readiness, a private advocacy group based in Michigan, was a member of
the 1984 and 1992 government commissions that helped establish the current guidelines
governing what women allowed to do in the military and shares the same opinion about this
issue. To Ms. Donnelly, the debate over American military women in combat has to do with not
only their physical abilities, but also with morality. ―We are a civilized nation, it's that simple‖
she said. ―Civilized nations do not subject women to combat violence. We sometimes don't have
a choice about sending young men into war, but we do have a choice about young women. And
we decided as a commission, in the majority, to say that, 'No, violence against women, we do not
endorse that. We support women in the military, but we don't have to submit them to direct
violence in combat.‖
The United States military is at a critical point in its history. Through two separate battles
fought in Afghanistan and Iraq in the War on Global Extremism, the military has had to change
certain policies to augment it strength and numbers, but the question we must ask ourselves as a
nation is how far is our military leadership morally, culturally, and legally willing to venture to
ensure prolonged US military dominance in the future. Regardless of the outcome, as the world
continues to change, opening better opportunities and creating more difficult obstacles for our
country, the US military stands posed to innovate, evolve, and maintain its high standards of
preparedness and adaptation.
Setting the Bar: The Army Legacy of MSG Robert Frye
As cadets in the Hoya Battalion, and students at our respective colleges and universities we
are taught that our choice to become officers in training has put us ahead of the game in life. The
rigors of the Reserve Officer Training Core program within the Washington consortium are
among the best in the country. Here, we are disciplined to live by our cadet creed; we understand
mission first and people always. Our future job as officers in the United States Army will be to
defend the values which make this nation great. In the Washington Consortium we are
surrounded by unique opportunities and experienced cadre members to lead the way. Among
these members of the cadre is MSG Robert Frye, the Operations NCO and Assistant MSIII
Instructor for the Hoya Battalion.
From his 20 year career in the Army, MSG Frye has spent 9 years as an instructor in various
capacities. Within the Hoya Battalion MSG Frye is one of the most respected Cadre Members
among the cadets. His experience in cadet land dates back to the 1980s during his time as a high
school student in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC).
MSG Robert Frye graduated high school in his hometown of Greensboro, NC in 1986. His
participation in JROTC was what sparked his interest in the military. It was through JROTC that
a younger MSG Frye learned that ―leading and not following was important‖ to him in life.
Following his graduation from high school, and with his parents present to give their written
consent, MSG Frye enlisted into the United States Army. His 20 year career in the military has
been one of great accomplishment and experience. In his capacity as an instructor in the Hoya
Battalion MSG Frye has been the leader of Ranger Challenge, preparing those cadets who aspire
to a career in combat arms.
Later this year MSG Frye will be ―transitioning‖ into civilian life. His plans are not yet
definite, but he remarks that he wouldn‘t mind teaching high school students. Considering his
mass appeal to the students here, MSG Frye would make an excellent teacher. He possesses all
of the necessary qualities to be an effective educator. From his career in the Army he has
acquired excellent command presence, common sense, wisdom and superior leadership. MSG
Frye‘s number one priority in the Battalion seems to be educating the students who come into
and eventually graduate from the program. As a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) MSG Frye
has spent years working with junior officers. Within the Battalion he teaches us to be
responsible, goal oriented students. He is certain to do well in whichever profession he ultimately
MSG Frye remains an example of excellent leadership to the cadets in the Hoya Battalion.
When the time comes for us to transition into civilian life we will be prepared because he has
helped us to attain the number one quality in career forces nationwide. He has taught us that it is
better to set the bar rather than simply trying to reach it.
MS I Stories
Name: Alex Boyd
School: Marymount University
Hometown: Bristol, Tennessee
Hobbies: Playing guitar, college republicans, sports fan
Reasons to joining ROTC: the leadership training...gives me the opportunity to serve my
country and get my college education
Activities involved in ROTC: have attended all FTX's and will be joining 10-miler next
Thoughts of the program so far: Its really good...hard coming from Marymount, but the training
is good, and it will be better these next semesters because I got my schedules put together.
Hopeful Branch: Aviation
Name: William Corvese
School: The Catholic University of America
Hometown: Glocester, Rhode Island
Reasons to joining ROTC: I joined ROTC because I believe that it is my responsibility as an
American to serve my country.
Activities involved in ROTC: Thoughts of the program so far: I absolutely love ROTC. I
enjoy all apects ranging from FTX's, PT, and MS class.
Hopeful Branch: Armor
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