Army ROTC Training Highlights
Nine cadets comprise a team, but at least twice as many train every year in the hopes of making the team. The Palmetto Battalion Army ROTC team has always been the battalion to beat at the competition. This reputation comes from hard training and a superb attitude. The Ranger Challenge team trains 30 to 35 hours per week for the competition while maintaining high academic standards.
Physical Training (PT) is a large part of the cadet life. From 0545 - 0645 in the morning on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday cadets train their bodies to meet the physical demands of combat. Improved physical health contributes to better overall mental and emotional well-being, as well as better attitude and self-confidence. Typically, each PT session involves some sort of upper-body muscle-building activity followed by a cardiovascular endurance activity - always accompanied by proper stretching and warm-ups.
All of the physical training is tested with the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), consisting of 2 minutes of push-ups, 2 minutes of sit-ups, and a timed 2-mile run. To pass the APFT you must score 60 points in each event as a minimum or you can try to reach the maximum score of 300 and earn the Physical Fitness Patch that is worn on the Army PT uniform.
WATER SURVIVAL TRAINING
Cadets attending LDAC must successfully pass the administered Combat Water Survival Test (CWST) prior to going. Cadets must swim a total continuous time of 10 Minutes using any combination of four strokes (breast, side, crawl, back). There is no associated distance with this requirement. After a minimum 10-minute rest, the cadet will tread water for 5 continuous minutes. Cadets that do not complete the CWST will complete this prior to commissioning with the Palmetto Battalion.
Labs provide practical experience in leadership, military drill, and command in order to develop and strengthen the traits of initiative, self-confidence, and discipline. Labs stress the practical application of skills and techniques that are learned in the classroom. They provide a forum for developing cadets and the opportunity for challenges in an outdoor environment. Important military skills are taught in lab that includes basic rifle marksmanship, land navigation, individual and squad tactics. Labs are held every Thursday from 1550-1750 and are a mandatory part of training for juniors and seniors.
Training culminates with the Battalion Field Training Exercises (FTX). The Palmetto Battalion conducts up to four FTXs every school year which are held at Ft Jackson, SC or the Francis Marion National Forest. Cadets plan the simulated combat missions and have opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned in labs.