22 January 2011

Lab 14: Sand Table Drills

The Ute Warrior Battalion executed a lab focused on Sand Table Drills this week.  MS IV Cadet Ben Hansen was the Cadet Officer In Charge (C/OIC) of putting together this lab to train the battalion on the purpose of, reception of, and the dissemination of an excellent Operations Order (OPORD). 
These are clips from his OPORD that was issued to the MS III leadership to be disseminated down the chain of command.  These paragraphs of the OPORD, paragraphs 2 and 3 will give an idea of what was expected to happen at lab this week.  
Ute Warrior Battalion will conduct Sand Table Drills & Squad OPORDs NLT 20 1225 JAN 2011 & 21 1000 JAN 2011 at the ROTC building IOT prepare subordinate units for future STX and Patrolling operations and the MS IIIs for Warrior Forge. 
Intent: It is "my" intent that the MS IIIs understand the TLP (Troop Leading Procedures) process for preparing for a mission; how to prepare WARNO and OPORD skeletons; create a terrain model kit (TMK); and to dissect an OPORD properly. 
 MS I/IIs will understand the TLP process for preparing for a mission;  how to serve as a recorder (built a TMK); serve as a Team Leader; the five paragraphs of an OPORD; and how to record an OPORD.  

These photos are examples of what kind of training took place during lab this week.

MS IV, CDT Tawni Welch, Instructor for MS I's and MS II's

MS I's and II's learning about the basics of receiving and understanding an operations order.

MS IV, CDT Matt Smith, Instructing another squad of MS I's and II's

MS IV, CDT Patrick Lee, Instructing one more group of MS I's and II's

CDT Smith reinforcing the importance of being able to correctly read a map and find out where you are.  The MS I's and II's were also being taught how to be good recorders for the Squad Leaders during STX lanes.  This way they will be able to catch opportunities to participate more in labs.

Lab OIC, CDT Ben Hansen, pitching in to offer his guidance on map reading to CDTs Ben and Lindsey Weber.

When asked what they learned at lab, CDT Ben Weber said, " I learned about executing an OPORD.  It was not only fun but very exciting knowing that I would use these skills in my future military career."

CDT Lindsey Weber said that what she found helpful about this lab was, "to learn the OPORD process.  As an MS I, I am always on the receiving end of the OPORD and it was helpful to see who and what it had gone through before it was briefed to me."

MS IV's, CDT John Eversole and CDT Ben Young team teach a group.

CDT Grant stands in front of a completed terrain model kit, receiving guidance from his MS IV instructor.

CDT Harris teaches one of our new Ute Warriors, CDT Wall, how to read a map and plot locations.  This class was given the opportunity to break down into groups of two, one of the two being somewhat experienced in map reading.  This allows the MS I's and II's to not only learn from their peers, but to also teach their peers.  Building a team of understanding as well as the new cadets now knowing who they can look up to when they need help.

CDT Tawni Welch proving a little more guidance.

Here, MS III, CDT Charles Sperry, briefs an OPORD to his squad using the techniques that they have been taught in lectures as well as labs. 

Diligently taking notes...

Confidence is the key when briefing an OPORD.  If you are sure of what you are briefing, your squad will know that you know what you are doing and they will trust in your plan.

The MS III class was broken down into smaller groups and were able to practice receiving a platoon OPORD and breaking it down to Squad level, then briefing it to the squad.  Here, MS III CDT Brent Call,  is evaluating how well CDT Sperry is briefing his OPORD.  This kind of feedback is important for  out MS III's to know where they do well and where they can improve in order to fully prepare for Warrior Forge this summer.

CDT Sperry is using the terrain model kit as a visual aid to brief what he wants his squad to do.  Showing where each team is and the role of each individual squad member is important for safe and successful completion of the mission. 

When CDT Sperry realized he did not have what he needed to complete his TMK, he improvised, using his name tapes to represent each team.  
MS III's, CDT Amanda Arthur and CDT Josh Lindstrom.

As MS III's CDTs Arthur and Lindstrom are preparing to go to Warrior Forge this summer.  They both felt that they got a lot out of the lab.  CDT Arthur said that "practicing in a stress-free environment with MS IV's as mentors and coaches was very helpful."  Both MS IIIs found the stories and hints and tricks that the MS IV's told about what made them successful at camp very helpful.

This lab was an excellent lab that if the cadets take what they learned seriously, they will excel in the program and succeed at Warrior Forge.

15 January 2011

Spring 2011 Awards Ceremony

Each Spring the Ute Warrior Battalion holds an awards ceremony to recognize those cadets in the Battalion who go above and beyond.  This Spring, our Professor of Military Science, Lieutenant Colonel George Johnson, was able to present 135 awards to our cadets.

The awardees are separated into three categories; Scholars, Athletes, and Leaders.  Cadets are chosen based on their performance during the past Fall semester.  Scholar is determined by a cadet's overall grade point average for the semester.  The Athlete awards are given based on the cadet's record Army Physical Fitness Test taken during that semester.  And lastly, the Leader awards are given to those cadets who have shown excellent leadership in many different dimensions throughout the Battalion.


 CDT Jacob Arthur, MS II (Sophomore) Cadet of the Semester

Our group of Scholars are then broken down into three subcategories.  35 cadets achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, distinguishing them as Dean's List.  We have about 130 cadets currently in our battalion, so that is about 27% of our cadets that received that award.  Outstanding!  

Cadets earning a GPA of 3.2 to 3.49 received the Cadet Honors award.  24 Ute Warriors earned this awesome standing with their grades.  The last Scholar category is Cadet Scholar.  These cadets earned a GPA between 2.9 and 3.19.  There were 11 cadets who received this award.
 Our cadets work diligently to keep their grades up as well as continue to perform well on their APFT and learn leadership skills.  70 Cadets earned a grade point average of 2.9 or higher last semester.  That is approximately 54% of the Ute Warrior Battalion.  Excellent work Warriors!  Let's see what you can do this semester.  

Congratulations Scholars!


CDT Caresse Little, MS I (Freshman) Cadet of the Semester

Physical fitness is an important aspect of ROTC training.  It prepares us to be functionally ready for the situations that we may experience in our labs as well as helps to maintain a balance in our busy lives with school, families, work, etc.  Physical fitness strengthens both our minds and our bodies.  We are able to keep a healthy mind by relieving some of the daily stress that we experience as students and future leaders.  Similar to the Scholar category; Athlete is broken into four subcategories.  They include Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze PT Performance.

Platinum PT Performance is one that most cadets want to and are encouraged to achieve.  A score of a 300 on the Army Physical Fitness Test is considered a perfect score.  The APFT is graded in three events; the push up, the sit up and the 2 mile run.  These individuals performed in an exceptional manner by achieving a score of 300 or above!  The highest score achieved in this battalion was a 332 by CDT Caresse Little.  Seven Ute Warriors earned this award.  HOOAH!

Gold PT Performance is having a near perfect score.  To achieve this standard, an individual has to score between a 290 and a 299.  The taste of Platinum is in these cadet's mouths.  They are so close and they also have exceptional scores.  12 Cadets were presented with this award. 

Silver PT Performance is also an awesome score.  Eight cadets sweated out a score between 280 and 290 on their record APFT.  

Bronze PT Performance can be achieved by  earning a score of 270-279 on an APFT.  11 cadets raised the bar and set their standard at this height.  Keep it up!

All of the cadets who earned these Athlete awards may also be eligible to receive the Army Physical Fitness Badge.  To earn this, a cadet must achieve at least a 270 on their APFT and must have earned at least a score of 90 points in all three events.

In addition to PT Performance, two cadets received an award for highest improvement in their PT Score.  Michael Horton from the University of Utah Platoon and Sarah Pierson from the Westminster College Platoon.

CDT Michael Horton, Improved his APFT score by 71 points

 CDT Sarah Pierson, Improved her APFT score by 55 points

Congratulations Athletes!

 CDT Ben Hansen, MSIV (Senior) Cadet of the Semester

In the ROTC, the subject that we focus on the most is leadership.  Around every corner there is a learning point for leadership and a seemingly impossible challenge to solve or collaborate with peers to try to solve.  This is what ROTC is all about.  These challenges build our character as future leaders and help us to grow in to soon-to-be Second Lieutenants in the United States Army.  The MS III (Junior) year is when the most focus is given to leadership and performance as a leader.  That is only one place that the Ute Warrior Battalion cadets can try out their leadership skills as not only great leaders but also great followers.  A great leader is also a great follower when not in charge.  

 CDT Brandon Buford, MS III (Junior) Cadet of the Semester
 One excellent example of where our cadets can shine in leadership is on the Ranger Challenge team.  These cadets train for months to compete against multiple schools in many different areas of leadership.  This last semester, we had 23 Ute Warriors participate on the two Ranger Challenge teams of the battalion; Westminster Platoon and Utah Platoon.

The photos of the Cadets of the Semester, throughout this blog, represent those individuals who have shown that they are Scholars, Athletes and Leaders.  Also called SALs.  They show a balance between all categories and demonstrate excellent performance in each one.  Congratulations to the Cadets of the Semester.

Congratulations on your excellent performance Ute Warriors.  Keep up the hard work and finish this semester strong!

07 January 2011

University of Utah vs. UCLA Women's Gymnastics

The Ute Warrior Battalion frequently presents the National Colors as a color guard for events around the Salt Lake Valley.  We opened the Spring 2011 semester with presenting them at the University of Utah vs. UCLA Women's Gymnastics Meet this evening.

 Here, Don Keogh is diligently practicing his timing to get the movements of his rifle in sync with the other Color Guard, Tim McClerran (Not pictured).

The Colors Sergeant discussing how the Color Guard will move through the tunnel and still keep in formation.

The youngster in the foreground is my son.  If he chooses to become a Cadet and a Soldier in the future, I don't think he will be following in the footsteps of our Professor of Military Science as a Field Artillery Officer.

 The introduction of the Lady Utes

Swoop was there to motivate and cheer on every one of the ladies.

 One last motivating "side five."

 The presenting of the Colors.

 This Color Guard consisted of:
Colors Sergeant-CDT Scott Andrews
Color Guards- CDT Tim McLerran and Don Keogh
National Colors-CDT Joe HerrNeckar
Army Flag-CDT Peter Lowell
Alternate- CDT Ian Lowry

The Color Guard represented the Ute Warrior Battalion well and started off the meet in a great way.  The Utes went away with the win over number one ranked UCLA.  It was a close meet, but Utah came out with a over all score of 195.700 to a 195.300 of UCLA.  The Utes were awesome!  If UCLA was number one, Utah has a lot to offer this season.  Their routines were nearly flawless.