About Us

Training Opportunities

As an Army ROTC cadet, you will participate in leadership laboratories, physical readiness training and attend a four-week Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky before entering the MS-
IV year. Cadets also have the opportunity to attend Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) at Fort Knox between MSII and MSIII year to help prepare for the advanced course the following year.
Other summer opportunities include attending Airborne and Air Assault while in
the program.

Below is an extensive list of some of the training programs Cadets can experience in ROTC. 

ROTC Basic Camp

The Cadet Summer Training Basic Camp is the premiere leadership program of its kind in the
United States. This intense four-week non-contractual training program is an introduction to Army life and leadership training for the Reserve Officers' Training Corps at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Basic Camp, is designed for college students typically between their sophomore and junior years and required for those who have not taken any required ROTC classes or have attended military Basic Training. Basic Camp aims to motivate and qualify Cadets for entry into the advanced phase of the ROTC program. Upon successful completion of the course, graduates can take part in the ROTC program at Suncoast Battalion, Tampa, Florida as a third-year student in the four-year program.

While attending Basic Camp, Cadets gain an experience that runs the gamut of Army life and the responsibilities of being an officer. The course instills confidence and decision-making abilities to become a leader, in the Army and in life.

Basic Camp can be mentally grueling and physically taxing, but the reward of graduation and meeting Army standards is the opportunity to enroll in the world's greatest leadership program and to receive college tuition assistance.

Graduation from Basic Camp has been the first step in many successful officers' careers. Graduates have gone on to lead America's sons and daughters in fighting to preserve American democracy and freedoms or as a civilian serving in the boardrooms and offices of American business.

Learn more about Basic Camp.

Advanced Camp

Advanced Camp is held annually at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Advanced Camp is the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s capstone training event. The 29-day course starts with individual training and leads to collective training, building from simple to complex tasks. This building-block approach permits integration of previously-learned skills into follow-on training.

Every day at Advanced Camp is a day of training. Below are some highlights:

Land Navigation: The Land Navigation evaluation consists of three events – Land Navigation Written Exam, one iteration of Day Land Navigation, and one iteration of Night Land Navigation.

Confidence Training: This includes the rappel tower, a confidence course, and the obstacle course.

Field Leader’s Reaction Course: FLRC is designed to develop and evaluate leadership, and to build teamwork early in the training cycle. Cadets are provided the opportunity to get early feedback on their leadership strengths, weaknesses, styles and techniques.

12 Mile Road March: Cadets will complete a 12 Mile road march under 4 hours with a 35 pound ruck to culminate their training experience.

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive Training: CBRNE teaches Cadets how to administer a nerve agent antidote, how to protect themselves from chemical and biological contamination using their assigned protective mask, decontaminate themselves and individual equipment using chemical decontaminating kits and how to react to chemical or biological hazard/attack. In addition, Cadets must go through the CS gas chamber.

U.S. Weapons Familiarization: Familiarizes cadets with the operation and employment of infantry squad weapons and call for fire grid missions. The Cadets train in the fundamentals of operation and engaging of targets and emplacement of crew-served weapons such as the M-249 and M-240B.

Cultural Awareness: Teaches cadets a basic understanding of cultural matters and how cultural awareness will facilitate mission success. Cadets learn how to conduct bi-lateral discussions with local officials, how to conduct a knock and search mission and how to defuse volatile situations using an interpreter.

First Aid: Cadets develop confidence in their ability to react properly to battlefield wounds. Through hands-on training and evaluation, cadets learn critical first aid skills.

Tactics: Squad Situational Training and Patrolling Situational Training Exercises have been combined under the tactics committee. They take place back-to-back while cadets are at the Tactical Training Base.

The purpose of the course is to train U.S. Army ROTC Cadets to Army standards, to develop their leadership skills, and to evaluate their officer potential. Most Army Cadets attend Advanced Camp between their junior and senior undergraduate years after having contracted to join the Army. Successful completion of Advanced Camp is a prerequisite to becoming an Army officer through ROTC.

Learn more about Advanced Camp.

If you plan to pursue specialized training, you will have the opportunity for additional courses and training through other organizations.

Basic Airborne Course

Every year the Suncoast Battalion sends one cadet to the US Army Airborne School in Fort Benning, GA. Cadets that are lucky enough to get sent will experience three weeks of adrenaline-pumping training as cadets, soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen from all across the US Military and sometimes even the world learn how to jump out of high performance aircraft in order to accomplish the mission.

The course is broken into three weeks: Ground Week, Tower Week, and Jump Week. During Ground week, students learn about the capabilities of different parachute systems as well as the aircraft that carry paratroopers into battle. Students also learn how to exit the aircraft with proper body position and are tested in their exited capabilities by jumping out of 34-foot towers. This is the first test of a student’s ability to overcome a fear of heights.

During Tower week, students learn how to land safely using the Parachute Landing Fall, or PLF. Students are given progressively harder tests that culminate with the Swing-Landing Trainer. Students also learn how to conduct parachute recovery as well as what different types of parachute malfunctions look like. The week is finished with a fall from a 250-foot tower, testing student’s ability to maneuver their parachute and land safely.

Jump week is the most exciting part of the course. Over the next four days, students must conduct five parachute jumps from either a C-130 Hercules or a C-17 Globemaster aircraft. The mornings start very early, but the opportunity to float in the skies of Fryar Drop Zone in Alabama is worth every bit of the struggle. At the end of the five weeks, students are awarded their airborne wings, making each student a member of the historical and well-respected airborne paratroopers.

Learn more about Basic Airborne Course

Air Assault School

In addition to the opportunity to attend Airborne School, cadets of Excelsior battalion also have the unique opportunity to attend Air Assault School at either Fort Campbell, KY or Fort Drum, NY. Air Assault is described as being the hardest ten days of the Army and the school is designed to train students to be proficient in air assault operations by helicopter.

Entry into the school requires the notoriously grueling Day Zero. During Day Zero, students must pass a rigorous equipment layout, pass an obstacle course, and survive hours of physical exercise to ensure that the students are physically and mentally prepared to take the course. After passing Day Zero, students are finally admitted to the school.

The school is broken down into three phases: Combat Assault Phase, Sling load Phase, and Rappel Phase. During combat assault phase, students learn about the capabilities of the Army’s helicopters. They learn a little bit about pathfinder operations and how flight plans are created. The phase only lasts three days and is completed with a written exam.

During sling load phase, students learn how to attach different loads to the bottom of aircraft safely. Students learn the capabilities of the different equipment before then being allowed to familiarize themselves with sling load sets. After familiarization, students are given a chance to practice running through sling load inspections of different rigs. The phase ends with two forms of testing; hands-on and written. The hands-on test occurs at the end of the first week and is responsible for dropping most of the Air Assault candidates because of its extreme difficulty. Students that are able to pass the hands-on sling load inspections and the written test are able to move onto the final phase of air assault school.

The rappel phase of air assault school allows students to overcome fears and become proficient in gracefully exiting a helicopter. Students are tested on tying a Swiss Seat which is nothing more than a piece of rope that’s used to securely attach a person to the safety rope. Students then practice rappelling down the wall side of a 100-ft tower as well as the open side; practicing Hollywood rappels, lock-ins, and combat equipment rappels. At the end of phase three, students are given the chance to rappel from a helicopter to affirm their skills in rappelling.

Before graduating, students must complete a 12-mile ruck march on the day of graduation. This is done with a 35 pound ruck sack and must be completed in less than three hours. After completing the ruck march, students are finally awarded their air assault wings, thus bringing an end to ten days of incredibly difficult training.

Learn more about Air Assault School.

Mountain Warfare School

Mountain Warfare School is a two-week course taught by the Vermont National Guard at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vermont. Both a summer and a winter phase are offered. The training is designed to make you an expert in mountain operations. The course covers rappelling, rock climbing, mountain survival, land navigation, first aid, and knots.

Mountain Warfare School is both physically and mentally demanding. Soldiers climb up and rappel down mountains, tie rope systems to make bridges, navigate the land by day and night, and learn how to care for and evacuate casualties. Training is non-stop, 15 hours per day, for 14 days. If you can carry a 65-pound rucksack up to five miles per day in mountainous terrain and are competent with both day and night land navigation you may have what it takes to complete this intense training.

Learn more about Mountain Warfare School.

Combat Diver Qualification Course

The most highly selective program available to cadets, the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) has less than fifteen cadet slots each year. This means that they only select the best of the best cadets. The training is physically and mentally exhausting, so preparation above and beyond the basic requirements of the school is mandatory. To get accepted into CDQC, one must complete a Pre-CDQC course at West Point, NY. Pre-CDQC training includes an APFT and pool events, including a 25 meter sub-surface swim, a 50 meter sub-surface swim, clump retrieval, two minute water tread, weight belt swim, underwater knot tying, ditching and dawning of equipment, treading water for five minutes with a weight belt and twin 80 air cylinders, and drown proofing.

Learn more about this Combat Diver Qualification Course.

Sandhurst Competition

Sandhurst is an inter-company competition for USMA. However, West Point teams now compete, not only amongst themselves, but against teams from their fellow United States Service Academies, 8 select University ROTC teams, the United States Military Academy Preparatory School team, and international teams from Britain's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), Canada's Royal Military College (RMC), Afghanistan's National Military Academy and, for the first time in 2009, The Chilean Military School.

Each USMA Cadet Company and Visiting Team selects a 9-member Squad (at least one member must be female) with two alternates. This squad is required to perform a series of challenging military tasks during a rapid, non-tactical move along a partly-prescribed 7 mile route.

The winning squad will be determined by the total time required to negotiate the course. The squad’s total time will be a combination of the time taken to complete the course from start to finish as well as any time penalties incurred throughout the course and on the marksmanship portion.

Learn more about the Sandhurst competition.

Ranger Challenge

Ranger Challenge is called the “varsity sport” of Army ROTC. Focusing on the basic infantry skills, Squad-sized teams compete against other schools in the region on their abilities in rifle marksmanship, constructing a rope-bridge, patrolling, the Army Physical Fitness Test, land navigation, and a 12 mile road march.

The competition takes place during the Fall, and all Cadets in good academic standing are invited to take part.

Ranger Challenge Cadets PT separate from the rest of the Battalion, in order to train for the required skills in the competition.

Learn more about Ranger Challenge.