Aspiring Lieutenants Practice Getting Lost On Land Navigation Training

Pfc. Tom Porter, assign to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, plots his course on his map at the land navigation course during Expert Infantryman Badge train up at Schofield Barracks East Range, Hawaii, on June 5, 2018.
U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon

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.


Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.

Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.

It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.

Read More Show Less
Photo illustration by Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

It all began with a medical check.

Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.

It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.

Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)

U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.

However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

Read More Show Less
Army Spc. Clayton James Horne

Army Spc. Clayton James Horne died in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 17, making him the eighth non-combat fatality for Operation Inherent Resolve so far this year, defense officials have announced.

Horne, 23, was assigned to the 351st Military Police Company, 160th Military Police Battalion, an Army Reserve unit based in Ocala, Florida, a Pentagon news release says.

Read More Show Less
Joshua Yabut/Twitter

The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.

Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).

Read More Show Less