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Norwich University cadets triumph amidst FTX snowstorm

This semester, Norwich University students faced the difficulties of a tough Field Training Exercise (FTX), exacerbated by an unexpected snowstorm, intensifying challenges for all cadets. 

As Wing Commander, I’m proud of our Wing’s excellence despite challenges, notably weather affecting our field experience goals. Putting people first is paramount; drastic measures like splitting FTX or compromising halfway would neglect their care and training, ultimately failing them,” said Simon Goryayinov (G9), 22, a Senior in the Corps of Cadets Computer Science major from New Hampshire.   

The cadets expressed their emotions about this past weekend’s training session as they fretted in ensuring they had adequate cold weather gear to withstand the snow and inclement weather conditions they were likely to encounter. 

“Freshman, Sophomore, and upperclassmen exceeded expectations, resulting in our detachment’s best FTX in years. Their motivation and energy showcased a unique commitment to overcoming challenges, reflective of Norwich University’s ethos,” said Goryayinov. 

The distinctive environment and training of a military institution presents additional challenges for the Corps of Cadets, who constitute a significant portion of the student body. 

Over the weekend, cadets were assessed by their ROTC leadership across multiple skill sets, encompassing planning proficiency, communication abilities, and aptitude for leadership.  

Additionally, cadets were allowed to obtain feedback from their peers, enabling them to pinpoint areas for improvement and enhance their skill sets further.  

Certain students engaged in the Coast Guard Auxiliary ATX (Auxiliary Training Exercise) harbored different worries unrelated to weather, given that their ATX occurred in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 

“My primary concern for the ATX was developing standard operating procedures (SOP) and building connections for future operations,” said Emmett Alan, Norwich’s AUP CO, 19, a sophomore in the Corps of Cadets, and a Criminal Justice major from Montana.   

Unlike most ROTCs, Norwich AUP is a fairly new unit, so they must have a solid base to build upon.  

“Most resources other branches have are being taken for granted; funding and barracks use can be hard to attain. It was only because of our unit officer, Lt. Billy Martin, and the commander of joint base Cape Cod, Brigadier General Faux, that we could be housed in Barracks for the period of our ATX,” said Alan.

While many cadets recognized the significant stress of the weekend, they also acknowledged that, due to the demands of the commandant’s calendar and various student engagements, this was the only weekend that presented an opportunity to conduct the FTXs. 

The primary focus of this FTX revolved around coordinating a battalion-wide event while ensuring comprehensive coordination and coverage for all cadets within the Army Department.

“Despite weather forecasts surpassing initial projections, appropriate adjustments were made, and cadets displayed remarkable perseverance, resulting in minimal disruptions. The availability of cold weather gear significantly contributed to the overall success of the FTX. Ultimately, the FTX surpassed expectations, with several cadets expressing that this experience marked one of the most memorable and successful FTXs during their tenure at Norwich,” said Rafael Font, 21, a senior in the Corps of Cadets majoring in Criminal Justice from Pennsylvania. 

Naval Battalion NROTC, Marine Option had their FEX this past weekend. The campus Marine FEX event was slated to welcome several schools, including Cornell, BU, and the Merchant Marine Academy.

 “Initially, approximately 100 Marines and prospective recruits were expected to attend. However, due to inclement weather, all but one of these schools withdrew, leaving only the Merchant Marine Academy participating,” said Matthew Walker, 21, a senior in the Corps of Cadets, majoring in Studies of War and Peace from New York. 

“Weather-related adjustments were necessary for the FEX, mainly due to the Marine Corps department’s limited cold weather gear. Despite these challenges, we adapted with available resources and successfully fulfilled the mission of preparing candidates for OCS,” said Walker. 

The Naval Battalion NROTC cadets will have their FEX the weekend of March 30th in Boston, MA. 

Norwich has provided me with the necessary tools for success. I eagerly anticipate tackling the upcoming challenges.,” said the cadets.  

It’s a collective journey we experience together. Norwich has prepared us not only for academic pursuits but also for life’s diverse and physical challenges.  

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About the Contributor
Kimeisha Moyston
Kimeisha Moyston, Student Reporter
Kimeisha Moyston is a staff reporter for the Guidon. She is a junior majoring in international studies and minoring in pre-law and philosophy, expecting to graduate with the class of 2025. As a student in the Corps of Cadets, she serves as the Corps narrator and the NCOIC for Media and Archives. In her free time, she is a member of the Norwich Womens' Rugby, President of the Black Student Union, Pre-Law Society Vice President, Alumni Network Vice President, and Norwich University Scouting Association Admin Chief.
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