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GMC hosts Spring Field Training Exercises for cadets

(185 cadets from GMC, Mercer, and the Marion Military Institute participated in GMC's Spring FTX at Bartram Forest.)

GMC hosted 185-cadets during their 4-day Spring Field Training Exercises (FTX) at Bartram Forest in Milledgeville, Georgia. This event trained 80-junior college cadets from GMC, 62-cadets from the Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama, and 43-cadets from Mercer University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. This military training focused on operations order planning, troop leading procedures, and rehearsals.

“Some of the goals for the cadets was to focus on troop leading procedures, training management, mission command, detailed planning and operations orders, and an overall improvement of their tactical expertise and leadership at the squad platoon level in preparation for cadet advanced camp and preparing the seniors who will be commissioned as lieutenants in the Army,” said Captain Walter Gradzik, Assistant Professor of Military Science at GMC and Mercer University.

The training began on Thursday, February 9th and ended on Sunday, February 12th. The cadets were organized into three separate platoons and were tasked to execute different missions such as a raid, ambush, and reconnaissance. The cadets set-up a patrol base to execute their planning and mission. They used paintballs and land navigation to complete their tasks. Augusta, Ga native, 21-year-old Cadet Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Quentarious Ellis, says the training is preparing him for real life experiences.

“You train how you fight,” said Cadet LTC Quentarious Ellis, GMC cadet. “We train to make the mistakes here rather than in the real world. My biggest learning experience was observing everything and learning with my peers.”

New Bedford, Massachusetts native, 18-year-old Cadet Staff Sergeant (SSG) Kyien Pina, says the training is preparing him to lead others in the military.

“At the FTX I had a great experience working with different people from different areas of the country,” said SSG Kyien Pina, GMC cadet. “This experience will better prepare me to become a platoon leader.”

GMC’s FTX takes place twice a year in the fall and spring. Captain Gradzik believes the joint training is a necessary challenge for his cadets.

“This joint FTX was one of the few opportunities that we have to bring three schools of students together so it’s a different leadership challenge for the GMC cadets because they’re not just leading their peers that they’re familiar with, but they’re forced to interact and lead cadets from other schools that they haven’t encountered before,” said Captain Gradzik. “They get to work with people from all different backgrounds.”

(Cadets used paintballs and land navigation to execute different missions.)