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UAF Cadets Travel And Train In Summer

Submitted by Carla Browning
Phone: (907) 474-7778

08/21/03

Some college students spend the summer working a boring job that provides a paycheck, with little or no excitement. But that wasn't the case for 10 University of Alaska Fairbanks students. For UAF Reserve Officer's Training Corps cadets who attended airborne school, the leaders training course and air assault school, the summer was anything but boring.

Two cadets at airborne school in Ft. Benning, Ga., went through three weeks of intensive training culminating in five static-line parachute jumps from both jet and propeller aircraft flying at more than 100 mph. After five successful jumps, the cadets earned the right to wear the coveted airborne wings.

While all the cadets said they faced tough and challenging courses, they agreed the pride and sense of accomplishment from completing the training were worth it.

"It was something else," said Timothy Stahlnecker, a junior communications major. "I'll never forget the first time I jumped out of the plane at 1200 feet and parachuted into the drop zone. It was intense."

"After making that first leap of faith you suddenly realize you can accomplish anything," said Christopher Eby, a sophomore in criminal justice.

The four-week leadership training course at Ft. Knox, Ky., taught five UAF cadets the skills deemed necessary for success in the military, business world and politics, while establishing lasting friendships.

"The course requires 24 hours of team work," said Lee Monzon, a junior in UAF's criminal justice program. "From fire guard to squad tactics, you and your squad are constantly working together."

"The course was definitely different from anything I've ever experienced before," added Jennifer Agtani, a junior accounting major. "Most of the situations you're placed in are different from anything you've ever faced, but the more obstacles you overcome the more confident you become and by the end of camp you know you can succeed no matter what the situation."

"This was my first look at the Army. I was impressed with the professionalism of the instructors and surprised with how open they were with their knowledge," said Erik Peterson, who is working on a master's degree in physics.

Air assault schools at Ft. Campbell, Ky., and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, trained other cadets in combat air-assault operations, sling-load operations and basic rappelling techniques. The course also familiarized each cadet with Army helicopters, aircraft safety, pathfinder operations and evacuation of injured soldiers.

CONTACT: UAF Public Information Officer Carla Browning at (907) 474-7778 or e-mail carla.browning@uaf.edu.