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Cove High cadets learn the ropes at Hood’s JROTC Camp

By WENDY SLEDD Special to Leader-Press FORT HOOD — Cove High School JROTC Cadet Kaylan Sullivan was concentrating. Her arms were shaking as she leaned back. Her tongue curled up tight against th left sideof her upper lip. She was both nervous and excited. It was a long drop to the ground. She  didn’t look down. Sullivan and fellow cadets in the Copperas Cove High School Bulldawg Battalion were literally learning the ropes at camp last week through rappelling, road marches, water survival training and an intimidating obstacle course. Twenty CCHS cadets attended the Phantom Warrior Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge at Fort Hood from among the 160-plus cadets from across Central Texas as far away as Tyler. Due to the weather, the camp was shortened two days. Ordinarily, two hundred cadets attend from nine schools, said CCHS JROTC Instructor Chief Warrant Officer 3 Enrique Herrera. “Cadets learned to take leadership positions and accomplish tasks assigned by the cadre; they learned to take charge of squads, plato ns and companies of cadets whom they have never met before; they must lead and motivate other cadets to excel in their performance,” Herrera said. “That includes form the moment they get up at zero-five-hundred ‘til lights out at twenty one hundred hours. “Training included drown proofing at Abrams Gym where cadets learned water entry,swimming skills and making flotation devices out of their ACU uniforms. They also learned to rappel off the Fort Hood 65- foot tower as well as how to negotiate the rigorous obstacle course.” Cadets received an evaluation of their performances by the cadre. CCHS cadets received outstanding evaluations. JCLC was established at Fort Hood in 2007. Prior to that, cadets attended JCLC at Camp Bullis in San Antonio. “Because we were limited to sending ten cadets I approached (then) III Corp CSM Ciotola who was instrumental in establishing JCLC here at Fort Hood,” Herrera said. “Because of this, we have been able to increase the number of cadets that are able to attend to thirty.” 

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