CYPRESS ACADEMY SERVICE PROJECT
“Tulane University’s Naval ROTC unit spent their Saturday morning on October 21st volunteering at Cypress Academy. We spent the majority of our time outside, transforming the ground surrounding the school by removing excess shrubbery and turning over the mulch on the playground, as well as raking and tidying up the yard.
The experience emphasized service before self, the core values of both Tulane and NROTC, and the importance of community awareness and involvement. Just a few people can make a huge impact when they dedicate just a portion of their time to making a difference in the lives of others. Not only is volunteering beneficial for the community, but it is also good for individual development.
Tulane NROTC and its midshipmen look forward to more projects such as this in the future.”
– MIDN 4/C Mattson
TUNROTC & SUNROTC FALL FEX 2017
⧫ 20 NOV 2017 ⧫
This past weekend presented both mental and physical challenges for Tulane University and Southern University’s Naval Reserves Officer Training Corps’ midshipmen. The final exercise was a twenty-hour day starting with a six-mile hike, followed by hours of Small Unit Leader Exercises, day and night land navigation, and an endurance course. One word adequately sums up this field training exercise: resiliency.
Although midshipmen faced a steep learning curve and hard critique, the final exercise brought a level of training that the midshipmen will continue to reflect on and utilize throughout their time in NROTC to become leaders before commissioning in the United States Navy and Marine Corps
The success of this final exercise is largely attributed to the Non-Commissioned Officers from Marine Forces Reserve, New Orleans that acted as the guiding hand behind the crucial development received during this exercise in handling combat stress and operating in difficult environments to accomplish missions.
During the Small Unit Leader Exercises, the NCOs applied stress and guidance as midshipmen moved through the tree line while taking fire and casualties, and lead their squads to complete the mission. The NCOs that generously gave up their time to help the midshipmen further their combat leadership skills were a vital aspect of the final exercise. Their experience and mentorship is invaluable to the success of these young men and women in becoming leaders in our nation’s military.
The NCOs were not alone in the fight to train the midshipmen, just as in the fleet they were supported by confident and experienced Navy Corpsmen from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Belle Chasse. The corpsmen provided a sense of security to the midshipmen and staff.
“Having the corpsman here really allows me to do my job that is train MIDN,” said Master Sgt. Smith. The corpsman also gave classes and guidance to MIDN, understanding the task and what it takes to be a leader.
“Of course you got to push yourselves and you got to reach past you’re comfort zone, but you need to know your limits too, and be safe while you’re doing it,” said HM2 Mena.
Upon arrival at Southern University’s campus, the midshipmen felt a mix of emotions, especially those who were about to experience field training for the first time. They felt nervous, curious, anxious, excited and motivated. Not knowing what to expect, the proper description was out of reach. But the NCOs were ready, and their expectations were clear.
“We want to see motivation, we want to see effort,” Cpl. Dixon told us. “Speed, intensity and enthusiasm while doing it.”
Noticing that there were new members to the team, the NCOs also expressed that they expected some weakness.
“We are going to see a lot of fear and a whole lot of unfamiliarity, but that’s going to be expected,” said Sgt. Amarahale. “I hope that this humbles them and that they accept and learn from the critiques we throw their way.”
Before training began, we heard from some of the midshipmen about what they hoped to gain from this final exercise. Both MIDN 1/C Savoie and MIDN 2/C Reber, who will be attending Officer Candidate School this coming summer, said they wanted “to get a better grasp on Five Paragraph Orders and develop stronger skills while leading a SULE.”
Some of the 3/C midshipmen said they wanted to develop their leadership within a platoon and sharpen their skills in land navigation, and the new freshmen simply wanted to “watch and see what [they] will have to do in the near future.”
With many goals in mind, the training began. From the start, the midshipmen were confronted with many harsh criticisms. “The only way they’re going to get better is by learning from their mistakes,” Cpl. Amarhale said.
“It’s overwhelming, it’s impossible to maintain control” one midshipman stated “we aren’t even being shot at and it’s still insanely intense.”
Among the chaos of the Small Unit Leader Exercises, the midshipmen began to feel the weight of their failures, but the NCOs didn’t let up. The Small Unit Leader Exercises continued to grind on and the lessons kept coming. The yelling became more intense. But among the discipline, the motivation was ever-present.
“They are definitely learning, but they need to apply it,” said Cpl McCall. “They need to take it more seriously and learn how to deal with stress.”
The NCOs constantly recognized deficiencies and relentlessly corrected them. They demanded excellence and refused to leave a problem unaccounted for.
By the end, after six hours of Small Unit Leader Exercises, the midshipmen were exhausted, but continued to identify and analyze the lessons learned in the woods. Key themes stressed by the experience and echoed by the NCOs included maintaining clear communication, remaining calm when the situation deteriorates, and keeping control over the squad and fire team.
The NCOs were an invaluable asset to this final exercise. Their hard work and dedication to the success of the midshipmen was evident.
The MIDN had a few things to say about being trained by Marine Corps NCOs: “The NCOs are awesome. They’re super tough and intense, but it’s all to make us better. Them wanting to be here makes me want to learn from them.” “It was motivating. I feel like I always do better when they are here.”
During their four years of training to become officers, few Naval Reserves Officer Training Corps’ midshipmen enjoy the extreme pressure, pleasure, and personalized attention that the company of NCOs bring.
The time and effort that the NCOs give is not wasted, but is selflessly channeled into the development of the young men and women who hope to one day commission and potentially lead them into harm’s way.
The NCOs are the backbone of the Marine Corps, and it is important that midshipmen understand the caliber and standards of the people they are preparing to lead.
While the bar is high and failures occur with every step, training events like this weekend’s final exercise ensure the quality of Naval and Marine Corps Officers and provide extremely high training value to midshipmen.
One midshipman elegantly summarized the group’s time together: “The experience was definitely humbling. We still suck, but I think they made us suck less.”
Thanks to the active duty personnel from the Marine Corps and Navy the midshipmen received some real world training that will hopefully keep them and those they lead safe and successful for years to come.
“The MIDN definitely need to take this seriously,” said HM2 Mena. “To them it seems like pretend, but for us this is real life. If you don’t train as if you are actually in it now, you’re going to fail when the time comes.”
Through the pain, sleep-deprivation, cold, wet, and general exhaustion, bonds are formed and out from the suffering arises motivation, resiliency, and an unwavering commitment to the mission. Midshipmen failed, but with the motivation and urging of the Marine NCOs and Navy corpsman, they were not failures.
This exercise was challenging, eye-opening, and daresay slightly fun.
– MIDN 3/C Banks
2018 Annual Mardi Gras Drill Meet
On February 9th, 2018, The Tulane University NROTC hosted its 45th annual Mardi Gras Drill Meet. The meet was staffed by the entire TUNROTC battalion, with MIDN 3/C Gibbons acting as OIC. 16 schools from across the country attended: Georgia Military College, Norwich University, George Washington University, Texas A&M, West Point, The University of Florida, Florida State University, The United States Merchant Marine Academy, Auburn University, Southern University, The University of North Georgia, The University of Memphis, Ole MIss, Villanova University, The Texas A&M Maritime Academy, Baylor University, and Rutgers University. Every ROTC service branch was in attendance. The Events held included Platoon Personnel Inspection, Platoon Basic Drill, Squad Basic Drill, Platoon Exhibition Drill, Color Guard, and Individual Exhibition. The competition was judged by a complement of enlisted Marines from nearby MARFORRES, New Orleans.
The Mardi Gras Drill Meet allowed TUNROTC to provide their midshipmen with an opportunity to develop leadership traits, as well as logistical and organizational skills, while also hosting units from around the country. This allows other ROTC units to demonstrate their mastery of military drill, while also being able to see New Orleans during the most exciting time of the year: Mardi Gras.
For many of the midshipmen the drill meet was an opportunity to interact with members from other units. For MIDN 4/C O’Keefe, the drill meet was a “good opportunity to meet Cadets and Midshipmen from across the country.”. MIDN 4/C Henderson commented, “The Judges were good models of professionalism, and it was interesting to see different schools. All of the other students seemed excited to be here, and it was pretty fun to see all of the Tulane college students’ reactions to the various drill demonstrations.” Despite the exciting events of the day, there were still challenges, especially amongst those in leadership roles. MIDN 3/C Trusty felt that “The drill meet was a lot of fun to work, however it was challenging being in charge of the guides at times. This was my first time in a leadership position in such a fluid and quick paced environment. I had to know where every school was, what event they had finished, if they were on time, and if they were ready for their next event. It was a challenge to constantly communicate and coordinate with so many other individuals during a busy day.” In spite of these challenges, many schools commented on the professionalism that the Tulane NROTC unit displayed.
For the first time this year. TUNROTC also participated in their own drill meet. MIDN 4/C Cooper, Mattson, LaPorte, Henderson and Drury competed in the color guard event. As the team captain, MIDN Drury thought that the team “Did pretty well. There is is always room to improve, however I feel it was a big benchmark for the color guard team going forward.” MIDN Drury feels that all future Tulane fourth class midshipmen should have a color guard team in the meet from now on. He believes that it is a good leadership opportunity, and helps develop pride and esprit de corps amongst the fourth class midshipmen.
Ultimately, in the words of MSgt. Smith, AMOI, “the Drill Meet was a huge success.”. To Msgt. Smith, the drill meet was the one of the first events where the midshipmen required little of the active duty staff, and were able to run the event independently. MSgt. Smith felt that the guides represented the school well, and that we received a lot of good remarks on our professionalism as a unit. Said MSgt. “All in all it was hands down the best event we have ever done in my time here at Tulane.”
A special thanks to our volunteer judges from MARFORRES New Orleans.
Sgt. Watson, Cpl. Rosales, Cpl. Dixon, Sgt. Rojas, Cpl. Rodriguez, MSgt. Kimmanee, Sgt. Gomez, Cpl. Gordon, Sgt. Corney, SSgt. Fuentes, SSgt. Starks, and Sgt, Derrick
-MIDN 4/C Gordh
5th Annual 2 Mile Run for the Fallen
On March 18, 2018, the Tulane NROTC unit hosted its 5th annual 2 Mile Run for the Fallen. This event, created by midshipman, was established in honor of the officers of Tulane University’s Naval ROTC Unit that have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of the United States. This event helps raise money for the training and education of midshipman currently enrolled in Tulane NROTC. We continue to host this race in partnership with the Lone Survivor Foundation, in order to remember and honor those who have served our country. This year, we were proud to continue our tradition of hosting the Run for the Fallen.
This event highlights physical fitness as one of the Navy’s core values. This year’s turn out consisted of college students, Tulane NROTC Alumni, current Tulane NROTC midshipman, Junior NROTC students, and others from the New Orleans community. Brother Martin High School Junior NROTC color guard team performed for our opening ceremony. We want to thank all of you who showed up and made this years run a success! We could not have done it without your continuing support and participation. We also want to thank our sponsors, Tulane affiliates, Shockwave and Major Smith. We hope you had a good time, and we all look forward to seeing you next year!
1. 219 Taylor Sumapang Time: 10:43
2.427 Adam Little Time: 10:56
3. 458 Cameron Stafford Time: 11:16
LT Patrick Ruth, USN
LTJG David E. Crais, USN
ENS Herbert J. McCampbell, USN
LTJG Albert B. McCoard, USN
LTJG Joseph J. Parpal, USN
2nd LT James A. Ducote, USMC
LTJG David P. Grow, USN
1st Lt Claiborne H. Brown, USN
Capt. James W. McCarter, USMC
LTJG Robert W. Fobes, USN
LTJG Rosalino J. Territo, USN
Capt. Thomas A. Carter, USMC
Capt. Rodney R. Chastant, USMC
LCDR Tellmon Scott Stallings, USN
1st LT Robert J. Kuhlmann, USMC
2nd LT Joe E. Allen, USMC
LTJG Kenneth F. Bates, USN
LTJG Bruce E. Pommer, USN
LDCR Michael D. Chalfant, USN
LT Gregory S. Fulco, USN
CDR Matthew A. Lacroix, USN
LT William J. McKeown, USN