On March 19th, over four hundred Cadets from the Carolinas arrived at Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC to complete their annual Joint Field Training Exercise (JFTX). As they do every year, cadets received training to prepare them for their evaluation and assessment at Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The training included situational leadership evaluations, field classes on small unit planning, weapons and tactical operations rehearsals, and several obstacle courses. The team finished the weekend with a physically challenging eight-mile march with the rucksacks and heavy equipment.
The cadets represented more than five local universities, including the University of South Carolina, Benedict College, Presbyterian College, UNC Charlotte, SC State University, Coastal Carolina University, Francis Marion University, and Morris College. This year was a unique experience that partnered with two separate United States Army Special Operations Command units. Soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) and 5th Psychological Operations Battalion (Airborne) collaborated with cadets for the planning of the training and participated in multiple events throughout the exercise. The Army Special Operations units provided the cadets an opportunity to meet and engage with Soldiers outside of their schools and elevated the quality of training. The partnership is just one step in a greater initiative to develop the cadets and provide them with exposure to Special Operations Forces.
USC Army ROTC Professor of Military Science, LTC Frketic, shared the following, “The TF Palmetto ROTC cadets are some of the best in the country. In a continuing effort to develop them and increase their leadership potential, the partnership exploits the geographical proximity to provide the cadets with the best training and education possible. It’s our goal that cadets will excel in their assessment and ultimately be better leaders from their interactions with the U.S. Army Special Operations Soldiers.”
“The 4th Brigade Cadet Command, TF Palmetto JFTX was a great opportunity to mentor and work with future Army leaders. Anytime there are opportunities to work with other organizations – from large state institutions like UNC-Charlotte, University of South Carolina to smaller schools like South Carolina State University and other historically black colleges and universities like Benedict College and Morris College, while simultaneously building partnerships is valued and a priority. Those of us from U.S. Army Special Operations Command look forward to future interactions and the continuation of our relationship with TF Palmetto’s ROTC cadets and the various academic institutions”, stated SSG John W., from 5th Psychological Operations Battalion Airborne.
Enhanced collaboration between USC and SOCOM has been an ongoing effort for the last several years, that has focused on cyber development, research, joint training opportunities, and internships for USC students. For more stories like these, please visit www.sc.edu/veterans.