Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Aspiring Lieutenants Practice Getting Lost On Land Navigation Training
Second lieutenants are famous for getting lost, but two Army ROTC cadets got a head start on their peers by spending nearly 24 hours adrift in the jungle operations training course at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Jokes aside, the situation was very serious: The training course features dense jungle and up to 40% of the students who begin the three-week program fail to make it through, according to the Army.
“It’s not unusual to have a cadet or anyone training get lost on a land navigation course,” Master Sgt. Jason Stadel, a spokesman for the Army’s 25th Infantry Division, told Task & Purpose. “What was unusual was the time they were gone.”
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser first reported on Sunday that the cadets had been found after a massive search for them that involved more than 200 soldiers and emergency personnel.
“They mobilized parts of the division HHBN [Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion], 3rd Brigade Combat Team and then the combat aviation brigade from the Army side and then we also had support from the Honolulu Fire Department and Honolulu Police Department,” Stadel said.
The cadets saw the rescue helicopters looking for them and were able to “straighten themselves out” once they found the road, he said. Eventually, the cadets found a road in the training course and were able to walk back to safety. Other than fatigue, both cadets suffered no medical issues from the ordeal.
The two cadets were enrolled in the course just like other soldiers, Stadel said. ROTC cadets typically take part in such training – including the Basic Airborne Course – during the summer before they graduate. The division is not releasing what schools the two cadets attend at this time.
“The entire jungle operations course was there – not just cadets,” Stadel said. “They were doing land navigation and just got turned around, as best I can tell.”
As part of efforts to fight against enemies that can jam GPS, the Army is expanding Infantry-One Station Unit Training to give Army recruits more experience with land navigation. The recruits will be tested on how well they can find points with a map and compass both in the day at night.
So far, the Army has not instituted a course to teach second lieutenants how to ask for directions when they get lost.
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.