Train and Travel with the Tennessee Tech ROTC

U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters land on the president's lawn at Tennessee Tech on the afternoon of Sept. 11.  Photo by Emma Kenner

Students gather around the helicopter listening to ROTC officers about the history and procedures of a helicopter landing.  Photo by Emma Kenner.

Luke Hornby (left) demonestrates the correct way to crawl to a Tennessee Tech student during lab training (right).  Photo by Benjamin Armstrong

Luke Hornby (left) helps train a Tennessee Tech student (right) who can not participate in the lab training due to injury.  Photo by Benjamin Armstrong.

Luke Hornby participates in his physical training test at Tucker Stadium early in the morning by doing as many pushups as he can in four minutes. Photo by Benjamin Armstrong.

Tech’s ROTC provides training options to prepare students wanting to serve in the U.S. Army, the Army Reserve or the Army National Guard.

On Sept. 11 the ROTC program conducted helicopter training for the Golden Eagle Battalion on President Oldham’s lawn. This training exercise is meant to prepare cadets for when they join the Army.

“It’s one of the means of travel for when we commission. You may find yourself riding in a Blackhawk which is really hands-on training we get to do, as far as loading the helicopter and how to conduct yourself when flying,” First Sgt. Cadet Samuel Hester said.

Hester, a junior mechanical engineering major, joined ROTC as a freshman.

“This program specifically helps develop us as leaders and it’s one of the few programs, I think, you’ll get realistic training you’ll experience once you actually commission. It sets you up for success in the military,” Hester said.

Luke Hornby, a senior history major, attended the helicopter training and explained the importance of it.

“The helicopter landing provides the dual purpose in training our cadets on how to safely load and unload from a UH-60 Blackhawk and raises awareness of the military program to the rest of campus, Hornby said. “It helps with recruiting new members and rewards those already in the program with fun training.”

Part of the training included getting the opportunity to ride in the helicopter above Cookeville and land on the president’s lawn.

“It is really amazing to see Cookeville through a birds-eye view, especially sitting in a helicopter with the doors open. We live in a beautiful area,” Hornby said.

Both Hester and Hornby participated in training that took them abroad. 

The Cultural Understanding and Language Program sends cadets overseas to experience other cultures. Hester spent a month in Thailand while Hornby and other cadets spent a month in Peru and two months in Germany.

“We stayed at the Peruvian version of West Point, their military academy, and just trained with their cadets and get the feel for a different country and a different culture and it helps both nations establish a joint understanding,” Hornby said.

Both students said they learned important values about the countries they visited, received training to help them in their professional and military career, and overall, enjoyed the experience of traveling the world.