EWU ROTC Conducts Fall 2018 Basic Land Navigation Training

Cadets in the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program receive extensive training on basic land navigation.  Our land navigation training for the first year Cadets began last month during the field training phase of our Jump Start program.  This week’s leadership laboratory built on the skills learned during Jump Start and follow on classroom training.  During the lab Cadets validated their pace counts, practiced plotting grid points on a map, shooting azimuths with a compass, and finding points on a land navigation course.

Cadets Lucas McCune (left) and Emily Mahon (right) work to plot grid points on their map.

The lab was held in the wide open Palouse landscape east of the EWU campus.  The rolling Palouse terrain makes for perfect conditions to teach basic land navigation to Cadets.

Cadets find land navigation points in the Palouse plains East of the EWU campus.

The Junior and Senior Cadets during the lab taught basic land navigation skills to the freshman and sophomores.  Future land navigation training will occur in the wooded terrain to the east of Cheney that will add a further level of difficulty for the junior Cadets to better master their land navigation skills.  Learning land navigation is an important skill for Cadets to learn because most of the Cadets will attend Advanced Camp during the summer between their Junior and Senior years in college.  At Advanced Camp being able to successfully pass the land navigation course at Ft. Knox, Kentucky is required for all Cadets.  The land navigation training offered in the EWU ROTC program ensures that Cadets are ready to succeed at Advanced Camp.

Below are pictures from the basic land navigation lab:

Cadet Isabelle Erickson (center) listens to the basic land navigation instruction.

EWU ROTC Cadets plot grid points on their maps.

Cadets Everett Kuhnel (left) and Austin Bristow (right) use their compass to navigate towards their next point.

Cadet James Tallakson (left) provides instruction on how to properly use a compass to Cadet Isabell Erickson (right).

Cadet Maddie Woodland (right) walks through the Palouse wheat fields to find her next land navigation point.

Cadet Nicholas Null traverses the land navigation course.



Throwback Thursday: Cadet Fred Wong Accepts Award as EWU’s Top Rifle Team Shooter in 1963

The below image from 1963 is of Cadet Fred Wong receiving an award as the top shooter of the ROTC Rifle Team. The award is being presented to him from the then Eastern Washington State College Professor of Military Science Colonel Erwin Nilsson.

Cadet Wong would go on to graduate in 1964 as a Distinguished Military Graduate and commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Signal Corps branch.  Wong would later attend the Infantry Officer’s Advanced Course and serve as a Rifle Company Commander in Vietnam.  After serving in Vietnam, the then Captain Wong came back to EWU as an ROTC instructor where he completed his Masters degree in guidance and counseling.  Wong would serve a total 31 years in the Army before retiring in 1995 at the rank of Brigadier General (BG).  Watch the below video where BG Wong describes his career after being honored in 2016 by EWU for his Exceptional Military Service.

Throwback Thursday: The 1961 EWU ROTC Chorus

Here is another historic image from the Eastern Washington University archives of prior Fighting Eagles Battalion ROTC Cadets.  This picture is of the 1961 ROTC Chorus:

The EWU ROTC Chorus Members were: Frank DeMeiro, Jerry Knowles, Richard Prague, Don Frazier, Larry Snyder, Harold Hayes, Duane Dishno , Barron Tilton, Mike Healy, Donald Lobdell, Charles Husel, Girk Gurley, Jim Arnold, Bob Biehl, Fred Van Wyck, Captain Thomas Whalen, Julius Presta, Gean Lale, Gary Jones, Paul King, Mike Spilker, Dan Martin, Lou Rector, Mel Hollen, Roy Crocken, Roy Yamashita, Frederick Wong, Edward Ito, Fred Boutz, and Ron Jones.

Please feel free any prior EWU ROTC alumni to share any stories about the chorus or the Cadets pictured.

Go Fighting Eagles!

EWU ROTC Cadets Conduct Weapons Familiarization Range in Medical Lake

Cadets from the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program ended the month with a bang by executing a weapons familiarization live fire at the Medical Lake Department of Corrections Range.  On September 27, 2018; 73 Cadets from the EWU ROTC “Fighting Eagles” battalion conducted familiarization on the M9, M4, 240B, and 249 weapon systems.  For many of the MSI Cadets it was their first time firing a weapon; thus making it a great opportunity for them to get some experience on all four weapon systems.

Learning marksmanship with various weapon systems is a key Soldier skill that Cadets learn during their time in the ROTC program.  The training prepares Cadets for Advanced Camp held at Ft. Knox, Kentucky each summer.  Cadets usually between their junior and senior years in college attend Advanced Camp and basic rifle marksmanship is one of the skills they must pass to graduate.  Graduating from Advanced Camp is one of the key milestones to becoming an Army officer after graduating from college.  The EWU ROTC program provides Cadets plenty of opportunity to learn and train on basic rifle marksmanship.  This was demonstrated this past summer when every EWU ROTC Cadet that attended Advanced Camp passed the rifle marksmanship testing.

Below are a few pictures from this week training provided by EWU ROTC Cadre member Mr. Rob Riedel:

Cadet Matthew Jeffs from Vancouver Washington engages targets with the M249 machine gun.


EWU ROTC Cadre member, Sergeant First Class Jason Hennig instructs Cadets on basic marksmanship.


MS IV Cadet Megan Anderson instructs Cadet Arlette Jacobo of Spokane Valley, WA on marksmanship.


Cadet Nicholas Null engages targets with the M249 Machine Gun.


Cadet Cheyenne Sweet of Puyallup, WA engages targets with the M4 rifle.


Cadet Christian Goldbach of Valleyford, WA engages targets under the supervision of Cadet James Tallakson.

Additional pictures from the rifle range can be viewed on the EWU ROTC Facebook site.  The below pictures were provided courtesy of EWU ROTC alumni, Mr. Jerry Mellick:

Finally EWU ROTC would like to thank the Medical Lake Department of Corrections for access to their range.  Providing outstanding training opportunities to the EWU ROTC Cadets would not be possible without the great support our program receives from the surrounding community.

Start Something Big!  Go Fighting Eagles!

EWU ROTC Contracts 10 Cadets into the US Army In Front of Historic Showalter Hall

On September 20, 2018 the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program contracted 10 Cadets into the US Army.  A Contracting Ceremony was held in front of Showalter Hall which is the oldest building on EWU’s campus.  Showalter Hall was built back in 1915 when EWU was a teacher’s college.  (Note: All the following pictures provided by Mr. Rob Riedel)

The Contracting Ceremony was attended by senior university leadership, fellow Cadets, alumni, friends, and family.

All 10 Cadets recited the Oath of Enlistment given to them by Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Stafford, the Professor of Military Science and Department Chair for the EWU ROTC program.

The first Oath of Enlistment was developed during the Revolutionary War when the Continental Congress established different oaths for the enlisted men and officers of the Continental Army.  Here is what the original oath said:

“I _____, do acknowledge the Thirteen United States of America, namely, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, independent, and sovereign states, and declare, that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience to George the third, king of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him; and I do swear that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain, and defend the said United States against the said king, George the third, and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents; and will serve the said United States in the office of _____, which I now hold, and in any other office which I may hereafter hold by their appointment, or under their authority, with fidelity and honour, and according to the best of my skill and understanding. So help me God.”

The first Oath of Enlistment under the Constitution was approved by an Act of Congress on 29 September 1789.  It applied to all commissioned officers, noncommissioned officers, and enlisted Soldiers in the United States military.

The oath would receive minor modifications during the 1800’s, but the current oath recited by the contracting Cadets has remained unchanged since 1959.  Here is the current Oath of Enlistment:

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

By contracting the Cadets can now activate scholarship benefits, receive a monthly monetary stipend, attend advanced training, and other opportunities to help them towards their goal of becoming a US Army officer after graduating from EWU.

Following the reciting of the Oath of Enlistment, the 10 Cadets were then given their right shoulder sleeve EWU ROTC patch.  The patch was presented by Sergeant First Class Jason Hennig who explained the importance of the right shoulder sleeve patch that recognizes combat service in the active US Army.  In the EWU ROTC program the right should sleeve patch recognizes these Cadets’ commitment to the program by contracting.

A video of the Contracting Ceremony can be viewed below:

Congratulations to all 10 of our great EWU ROTC Cadets who contracted into the US Army:

  • Jacob Villasenor
  • Samantha Knight
  • Christopher Milward
  • Isabelle Erickson
  • Adam Burnside
  • Chad Triplett
  • Jazmin Castrejon
  • Jameson Palmer
  • Matthew Jeffs
  • Andreas Brazier.