ROTC Program Offers Hands-on Experience

Ferris students learn about different military weapons

by Published: Dec 4, 2013

Members of the Ferris ROTC program meet for their yearly Cadets Weapons Lab. Here, students get a feel for a variety of weapons, including shotguns, machine guns, pistols and even heavy equipment such as the TOW (Tube-launched Optically-tracked, Wire command-link guided missile system), which is new to the lab this year.  Courtesy Photo Provided By: Georgia Thelen

Members of the Ferris ROTC pro­gram meet for their yearly Cadets Weapons Lab. Here, stu­dents get a feel for a vari­ety of weapons, includ­ing shot­guns, machine guns, pis­tols and even heavy equip­ment such as the TOW (Tube-launched Optically-tracked, Wire command-link guided mis­sile sys­tem), which is new to the lab this year.
Courtesy Photo Provided By: Georgia Thelen

Not many stu­dents have stood in a room full of weapons and heavy artillery, but for many Ferris ROTC stu­dents, that can be con­sid­ered a nor­mal occurrence.

Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC) is a lead­er­ship course that teaches stu­dents how to lead, moti­vate and prob­lem solve. It offers var­i­ous schol­ar­ships and finan­cial incen­tives for stu­dents, too. And some­times, it allows for stu­dents to han­dle very big guns.

Ferris ROTC stu­dents met for their yearly Cadets Weapons Lab on Nov. 21 to learn about the weapons they will even­tu­ally use and encounter while on the job.

ROTC mem­bers learned the specifics of each weapon, speed of the artillery each weapon shoots and how to han­dle the weapon if the they encounter one in bat­tle. In addi­tion, all of the stu­dents had a chance to hold the weapons and get a feel for them.

There were count­less weapons fill­ing the room, rang­ing from mil­i­tary grade shot­guns and pis­tols, to machine guns and grenade launchers.

“[My favorite is] prob­a­bly the Mk 19; it can do some dam­age,” crim­i­nal jus­tice major and mem­ber of the National Guard Josh Camiller said.

Camiller orga­nized this semester’s Weapons Lab for the ROTC class. Camiller gave the run­down on the largest, most threat­en­ing weapon in the room, the TOW missile.

The TOW Missile, or Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command-link guided Missile System, is new to the Weapons Lab this year. The mis­sile was set up as a sim­u­la­tion for stu­dents. Each stu­dent had the chance to take the reins and shoot dig­i­tal cars and tanks on a tele­vi­sion that was set up by the system.

The TOW Missile was heavy equip­ment major and mem­ber of the National Guard Logan Bontrager’s favorite weapon out of the bunch. This was the fourth Weapons Lab that Bontrager has attended since com­ing to Ferris.

Bontrager enjoys get­ting hands-on with the weapons and has learned much since start­ing in the ROTC pro­gram four years ago.

“Overall I think it’s a good pro­gram for any­one because whether or not you plan on going into the mil­i­tary or any­thing, you’ll get lead­er­ship skills and every­thing here,” Bontrager said. “Employers want that.”