Military Science and Leadership
Advanced Camp Notes
General Information: Hopefully this helps you in your advanced camp prep and training.
1. As I'm sure you are aware by now, 90% of the material that you are presented with this year is tactical in nature. Do not be deceived, at Advance Camp probably only 15% of the things that you do on a day-to-day basis will be tactically oriented. THE REMAINING 85% OF YOUR TIME WILL INVOLVE GARRISON LIFE.
2. I do not mean to downplay the importance of tactics, a solid working knowledge is essential, you have to understand FM7-8. However, I saw many individuals, last year, who were very squared away on tactics and horrible on garrison. On the whole, they did not come away from Camp with good scores. Your life will be an endless blur of formations, platoon and squad meetings, and drill and ceremony. This is NOT an exaggeration.
3. Due to the nature of our life as "part-time" cadets, your drill and ceremony and garrison experience will be marginal, at best, when you arrive at Camp. Remember, you will be competing with cadets from military schools that live and breathe garrison life (The Citadel, VMI, Georgia Military College, etc.) Consequently, all the experience that you can get in these areas is vital! Do independent research in FM 22-5 and get your questions answered soon! (The spring FTX plays an essential part in garrison practice for us at the Hilltopper Battalion.)
4. Also, contrary to what your intuition might tell you, marching cadences are extremely important! All throughout camp, particularly during the first couple days, you will be constantly marching in company formations to your physical exam, pictures, briefings, etc. This is a very valuable time to make a good impression on your TACs and to build a solid reputation in the platoon and company as a leader, someone with initiative! If, when volunteers are asked for, you can jump out in front of the company and belt out some high speed cadences (for miles on end, believe me), you are going to look and feel really good. Also, it is imperative that when you sing them, you use a full, confident command voice. There are few things more annoying than listening to someone lead cadences in a weak and unassured manner. So practice every chance you get, singing them in your car as your driving down the road helps keep you alert as well as develops a sequence and confidence in singing cadences.
5. Running cadences are also important. The times that you will run in formation will be during one or two early morning PT sessions and the Camp-wide run, mid-way through. But, you will march for many, many miles. A good idea is to jot down your cadences in a 3X5 inch notebook so you can whip it out while marching if need be. Also, practice singing them to yourself (not out loud, obviously) while walking around campus, you will get surprisingly good between now and Camp. But you have to practice them. An idea is to remember them in sequence, one leads to the next and so on.
6. Concerning PT. As you know, this ACFT will be the single most important one IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. It will constitute 10% of your final score, and your score is the major factor in your branch and component assignment, hence your career. In addition, being in excellent physical condition will carry you all the way through Camp. When Camp is over, you will be really out of shape from not having done PT for five weeks. You will desperately need the stamina and strength that this program will provide if you want to do great things during Advanced Camp and be able to do your best. Another point in your personal fitness, the PT you do around ROTC in the morning is not enough to get you in shape for camp. You have to do PT on your own making it a habit; focus on doing correct push-ups and sit-ups. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to practice and enforce daily a poor form when doing push-ups and sit-ups. It is better to do less correct push-ups, than to do a bunch of incorrect push-ups; giving you a false since that your doing OK... Then when you get to advanced camp having some NCO or Officer inform you that you are not doing them correctly (when it counts). Something to think about.... Train to a harder standard that you will be tested/graded by. About the 2 mile run, Practice, Practice, Practice...Run, Run, Run....
7. Get into a habit of arriving early and staying late. You'll never miss important things and you'll always have a little extra time to prepare.
8. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. You'll never know when something that seemed insignificant comes back to haunt you. It also helps you remember ideas.
9. Don't screw around too much, but know when to enjoy yourself. I had the BEST time at Ft. Knox. It was GREAT. To all of you good luck...