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Home > UNS > 150306-03



Vanderbilt ROTC visits Nightstalkers

by Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) Public Affairs

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (USASOC News Service, March 6, 2015) – More than 30 cadets from Vanderbilt University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps visited the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) to learn about and experience the aviation unit in the U.S. Army.

In addition to highlighting the unit, the trip showed the cadets the diverse careers that the Army has to offer and examples of leadership, said Lt. Col. Kenric Smith, Professor of Military Science at Vanderbilt University’s Army ROTC.

The cadets’ day started out with a visit to the Special Operations Aviation Training Battalion’s Allison Aquatics Training Facility where they learned a little about the center itself and its capabilities. They then watched a training simulation of a downed aircraft and rescue operation.

They moved down to the Combat Skills Training Facility “Green Platoon,” an indoctrination training program every officer and enlisted Soldier must pass in order to be part of the regiment, to participate in a grueling medical physical training activity that taught them the different carries one must learn to evacuate a casualty while on foot.
Finally, the cadets were taken onto the compound to get a firsthand look at some of the aircraft the 160th SOAR  (A) operates on a daily basis.

“The cadets were amazed at the diverse group of people, both in rank and [job], which make up the regiment,” said Smith. “They were extremely impressed with the professionalism in everyone they encountered. The cadets also realized that lessons they learn now in ROTC are applicable in the Army and would hear that over and over during their visit.”  

Smith’s student cadets echoed his sentiments.

“I had a great time, especially because I am branching aviation, so this was the first time I was able to get some hands-on experience with aircraft,” said Cadet Savannah Shepherd, senior at Vanderbilt University and cadet deputy commander of their ROTC battalion. “We are usually so consumed with school that we get very little Army experience outside of the ROTC program, so we jump at the chance to experience something authentic. We appreciate our instructors and the 160th for setting this up for us.”

Smith has high hopes for his cadets and is confident that they will go on to do bigger and better things.

He said, “I'm positive that this visit inspired quite a few of our cadets to strive for aviation and to become future Nightstalkers!”