Category Archives: Marine Platoon

2015 Sheehan Cup

SATURDAY 28 MARCH 2015-The Sheehan Cup took place at Boston University this past Saturday. Despite the frigid weather, teams from each of the university’s ROTC programs competed in athletic challenges during this tri-service event.

The day started with swimming relays and the tire flip. Midshipmen dominated every category of the swim events. A valiant effort was put forth by the Air Force and Army teams.

The squad drill event was a close competition eventually won by Army. Army cadets also won first place in both the Ironman and the Ironwoman competitions. These grueling warrior challenges were composed of buddy carries, pushups, sit-ups, sprints, burpees, ammo can runs, and ammo can presses. All of the participants demonstrated exemplary strength and endurance throughout the event.

Maneuver Under Fire (MANUF) is a standard portion of the USMC Combat Fitness Test (CFT). MANUF consists of a 300-yard shuttle run with combat-related tasks including crawls, buddy carries, buddy drags, ammo can runs, agility running, and a grenade throw. The fastest time on this course was run by an Army cadet, while Marine options took second- and third-place finishes.

The final event of the day, which turned out to be perhaps the most competitive, was the tug-of-war. After several contentious rounds, Air Force cadets took first place.

Overall points were determined by team results in each event; three points were given for first place, two for second, and three for third. After a string of Army victories, the Naval ROTC program won the overall competition for the first time.

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Semper Fi Society Completes FEX II on Peddock’s Island

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As the boat neared the shore, the previously talkative midshipmen grew silent, unconsciously gripping their rifles tighter as they mentally prepared for the night ahead. Once the boat docked, it was time to move—midshipmen grabbed their packs and hurried onto dry land, trying to get their bearings in the unknown environment as they formed two columns and stepped off into the darkness.

The second field exercise of the year for the Semper Fidelis Society took place Nov. 7-8 on Peddock’s Island, located in Boston Harbor about a 30 minute boat ride from the city. Abandoned military facilities are spread across the northern half of the island, as it was used for harbor defense in the early 20th century. This was the first time SFS had used Peddock’s Island for a FEX, so while the new location presented unique challenges it was a refreshing change from Fort Devens.

The night started out with tent setup at the bivouac site. Unlike previous field exercises, the bivouac process was not disrupted by ambushes from the cadre, so it went very smoothly. Next came the biggest physical challenge of the weekend: the nine mile hike. Early on in the hike, the cadre ambushed the society and Platoon Sergeant Frayne became a “casualty”; however, 1st Squad Leader Hamilton took charge and handled the situation. Due to the small size of the island, the hike route looped around the same path several times, causing the whole experience to start to feel like a particularly intense episode of déjà vu after the fifth time hiking up the same hill. The varied terrain included hills, sand, and broken ground, presenting obstacles for the midshipmen burdened by 50-65 lb packs—several people were forced 10806251_832933546770009_3608459940969865249_nto drop out, testimony to the difficulty of the hike. However, after being taken care of by the corpsman, they rejoined the group and everyone finished the hike together.

Following the hike, the midshipmen spent two hours working on their night land navigation skills, using a compass to navigate to different points in the woods. Finally, around 0150 they returned to the bivouac site for a much needed few hours of sleep outside under the stars. Tent pairs took turns standing watch, rotating until reveille at 0530. In the chilly predawn darkness, the midshipmen quickly packed up the tents and gear and moved it to the dock, then practiced close-order drill as the sun rose.

Then came the final training evolution of the weekend: squad in the offensive, or SITO. This was specifically aimed at the bulldogs, who each assumed the role of squad leader for two missions and were evaluated on their performance. Missions varied from basic assaults on an objective to security patrols to casualty evacuations. The cadre made sure to keep things interesting by ambushing the squad periodically, including an attack from a moving vehicle. Quick reactions and decisions were key as bulldogs faced the challenge of managing the entire squad. The 3/c also had the opportunity to step up during SITO, acting as fire team leaders for several missions and getting practice in briefing five paragraph orders.

After four hours of SITO, the midshipmen were pleased to find that the final mission took them to a barbecue prepared by the staff, which was a significant improvement over MREs. The society then conducted a hot wash to discuss the FEX and lessons learned, and finally boarded the boat to return to Boston. On the boat ride home, the midshipmen who didn’t immediately fall asleep were treated to a demonstration by the corpsman on how to apply a tourniquet. Finally, they returned to Ashford Supply to clean rifles and return gear. Tired and sore, but feeling accomplished, the members of SFS departed for home, confident that the weekend had been a success in terms of gaining both valuable training and new Facebook profile pictures.10517487_832932843436746_904680712345975196_n

Written by Midn 2/c Pushaw

Semper Fi Society’s First Field Exercise of the Year

FEX 1 pic 3On October 10th, Marine Options of the Boston NROTC battalion and supporting cadre members went to Fort Devens for their first FEX of the year. At 1700 on Friday, the motivated midshipmen loaded into vans eager to get field exposure that will help them both at OCS and in the fleet.

Upon arrival, Semper Fi Society members posted security and set up tents, hoping to be able to finish quickly and get sleep. Unfortunately for them, the cadre was watching closely and midshipmen started mysteriously disappearing. Before long, the Marines had lost an entire squad. Thanks to Plt Sgt Pushaw’s efforts, all midshipmen were recovered without any causality. The Marines learned to always buddy up and let their squad leaders know where they were going.

After set up, the Marine Options formed columns with their packs on, ready to step off for a 6 mile hike. The first challenge came with a steep hill, but through the motivating efforts and will of everyone on the FEX, no one fell out. Soon people were smiling and laughing, enjoying the challenge of a well-mapped hike. The hike was successful without a single midshipmen dropping or lightening load.FEX 1 pic 2

After the hike, the exhausted Marines moved to their sleep system where they enjoyed a night under the stars, despite having tents. OIC Kim insisted “Suffering brought people together,” and so it became the motto of the FEX. Five hours and several fire watches later, the midshipmen were woken up once again to begin a new day, starting with rifle drill lead by GySgt Askew. Rifle drill was a new but exciting part of the FEX because drill is a key element in OCS.

The last event of the day was Fire Team in the Offense, or FITO for short. This is a bulldog’s* time to shine as they navigated a fire team sized unit of midshipmen through a forest in order to reach an objective. This was the first time the bulldogs were the fire team leaders in FITO, and each bulldog learned quickly and made great progress, setting a glowing example for the third and fourth class.

FEX 1 picAfter the FEX, a very happy group of Marine options loaded into the climate-controlled vans and shared stories and laughs over a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee before cleaning rifles and ending hot wash at Ashford Supply. The Midshipmen then said goodbye and reminded each other in true Marine fashion that they had logbook PT on Monday. The FEX both fostered midshipmen camaraderie and excitement about their jobs as future Marine Corps officers. However, most midshipmen were also excited to shower off their war painted faces and order Dominos.

Written by Midn 3/c Kristen Noviello

*bulldog: Junior/second class midshipman preparing for OCS the summer before their senior year

Norwich Levy Challenge

DSC_1316 The reality of the military is somber; brave men die protecting ideals by which we live and craft our society from. One of these men includes 2nd Lt. Walter N. Levy (USMC), a Norwich University graduate who was KIA (Killed In Action) in September 18th, 1968 whilst operating in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. The Walter N. Levy Challenge was established to honor Lt. Levy’s name, providing participants the opportunity to push themselves to meet, and then surpass their physical limits.

Competitors from various schools along the New England neighborhood gather at Norwich University to take part in an event like no other. The Old Ironsides Battalion was represented by two teams and an individual, composed by MIDN 2/c Schott, MIDN 2/c Frayne-Reixa, MIDN 2/c Fulton, MIDN 3/c de la Ossa, MIDN 3/c McCoy, MIDN 3/c Gurung, MIDN 3/c Lopez, MIDN 4/c Bourget and MIDN 4/c Holmes. MIDN Schott, McCoy, de la Ossa and Gurung composed the MIT Team, while MIDN Fulton, Lopez, Bourget and Holmes made up the BU Team, while MIDN Frayne did it individually establishing our Battalion’s Marine Option presence.DSC_1294

Participants, competing individually or in teams of four, begin their journey with a 1-mile ruck march up and down a mountain with a 60-lbs rucksack on their backs. Once getting rid of the rucks, participants ran to the next stage involving a lap of carrying either a sandbag (for individuals) or a stretcher with a team-member lying down. Following this stage, a swift jog lead to the Marine Corps O-Course, involving a pull ups, low crawl, log jumps, rope climb, hiking up a short, yet steep hill with two ammo cans, target shooting and then running back through the rest of the course which involved low crawl and logs. Following the O-Course, a water-resupply evolution demanded individuals to carry water jugs around a basketball court; each person had to carry one. More pull ups and bear crawls led to more challenges, but perhaps the obstacle participants will remember the most would be the low crawl in the muddy, 50 OF water for about 15 yards. Following that, a long walk in a river- Yes, IN a river- provided competitors an opportunity to refresh themselves in the nippy water. After a refreshing mile-long stroll in the water, participants were given rubber-ducks (toy guns, in this case M16 rifles) and hiked up what seemed like a never ending hill. Upon completion of this hike, participants were given a memento, a device that would allow them to complete the challenge, this case being a dog-tag.

The completion of the challenge meant the completion of a 7.5 mile obstacle course, but in a deeper sense, it meant honoring one of the countless men and women that have suffered the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve the United States. A simple 7.5 mile, 2.5 hour endurance course does not compare to the real challenges faced in the battlefield, in which Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen go days without rest. It is but an opportunity to better gaze the reality of the military; the reality that servicemen and women are guaranteed a ticket to leave the homeland, but sometimes it can be a one-way trip.

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By MIDN 3/c Juan Lopez

Photo Credit: LT Blair/ MIDN 2/c Frayne

SFS: Do you have what it takes to join our ranks?

The Semper Fidelis Society, known to the members of ROTC simply as SFS, will resume its training on September 4th, with Midshipman First Class Paul Kim as the Officer in Charge. Upon graduating from OCS this past summer, Midn Kim will return with a strict training plan to prepare and inspire the future officers of the United States Marine Corps. SFS is a program designed to ready Marine options for Officer Candidate School, a 6-week course at the end of junior year.  However, in addition to training Marine candidates, all those choosing the Navy pipeline will have a chance to expose themselves to the basics of what would be expected of him/her as a Bulldog at OCS and the fundamentals of how a Marine officer operates.

The Navy options that participate in the program are vital to helping the Marine options prepare for the hardships they will face while in Quantico, Virginia.  As a member of SFS, you will be asked to lead others as fire team and squad leaders, and pushing the Second Class Midshipmen, Frayne, Hamilton, Pushaw, and Schaffino, to their limits in their preparation. For some of you, this will be your first chance to lead. The future Naval and Marine officers will train together through a series of grueling workouts, field exercises, war games, hikes, and swim and rope PT. These are only a few things that make SFS different from the rest of the Battalion. The SFS experience will expand not only your physical capacity, but also your mental capacity through the training in which we receive. Instead of a four year journey, we ask that you devote yourself only for a semester to experience what we are all about.

1901220_701365679926797_4314223756674188816_nThis semester, the Society will unfortunately be short two senior OCS graduates in Midn 1/c Boettcher and Mr. Mariscal, a graduate of the Platoon Leaders Course (PLC), as they study abroad. Despite their absence, the Society is fortunate to have the guidance of Maj. Hritz, GySgt. Romer, SSgt. Askew, and 2nd Lt. Bryant. These men have acquired a vast knowledge base throughout their time in the Marine Corps to share with the Midshipmen and PLC Candidates. Ms. Johnson, also a PLC graduate, will provide challenging and engaging exercises as the Society’s Training Officer. As is a tenet of Marine Corps leadership, the Society will adapt and overcome, despite the absence of two crucial members.

As evidenced by its most recent class of OCS graduates, the Boston Semper Fidelis Society effectively prepares its members mentally and physically for the taxing challenges that OCS presents to the Officer Candidates. This year should be no different as the newest second class and PLC candidates prepare for their 6 weeks in Quantico, Va., third class step into leadership roles, and newest members receive their first introduction to the Marine Corps.

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Written by Midn 3/c Tyler King, Midn 3/c Michael Murray

Holy Cross MEC

Warriors awoke at daybreak on the morning of September the 20th for an early 0450 muster. The task at hand was the Holy Cross Military Excellence Competition, the Olympiad of the New England Navy Battalions. Sailors and marines alike were not tired and weary from the little sleep the night had afforded them, but instead sharp and anxious for the competition ahead.2014-09-20 08.40.21

The force of forty strong departed under the new leadership of GySgt Askew, ENS Meucci, and of ENS McCormick. The three-van convoy arrived in an hour, and at 0630 the safety brief was communicated.

The first mission was the Warrior Challenge, bravely undertaken by two new 4/C, MIDN Cooper and MIDN Bourget. Both completed the task at hand—displaying the true physical might of the Boston Consortium.

On the other side of the field house from the Warrior’s Challenge athletes stood a table, a table lined with trophies for the many events. However notably one was missing—the illustrious magic Speedo—the symbol of New England dominance in the water, the trophy for the region’s best swimmers.

Alas! Our battalion had encountered its first tribulation— we had left the esteemed symbol at the MIT unit, where our victorious team last year had rightly stored it. The pressure was on: we needed another swimming victory, else be scorned for not bringing the esteemed and legendary swim trunks.

In order to command dominance over the swimscape, fourteen brave battalion athletes volunteered to relay.

The results were astonishing.

MIDN 3/c Koch, Midn 2/c Hamilton, MIDN 1/c Hummeldorf, MIDN 2/c Spata take first place in swimming.
MIDN 3/c Koch, Midn 2/c Hamilton, MIDN 1/c Hummeldorf, MIDN 2/c Spata take first place in swimming.

Those watching found out this day that the likes of MIDN Hummeldorf, Hamilton, Spata and Koch were in fact built from the same constituents of our most agile and advanced torpedoes. Lapping and greatly outpacing the competition, this team took home the gold for Boston, and saved the magic Speedo.

Not to be outshined by such incredible effort, another Boston team took a heated contest for third place.

Drill team also took third, the Iron Man and Iron Woman team’s both completed exhausting circuits, and one of our basketball teams made the semi-finals.

This year’s MEC was many things—fiery, frenzied and even funny, but the one thing it wasn’t was disappointing. Hoo-yah Boston Battalion. Hoo-yah. Sail on.

Written by MIDN 2/c Jasper Burns

Boston NROTC Freshman Class Completes Orientation Week in Newport, RI

The incoming students of the Boston NROTC Consortium completed a week of orientation to introduce them to ROTC and prepare them for their next four years of training.  The Boston Naval ROTC Consortium is comprised of students from Boston University, Boston College, Northeaster University, MIT, Harvard, and Tufts.  The orientation was conducted at Naval Station Newport, which provided billeting and training facilities that are not available on campus and allowed students from all six consortium schools to come together in one location.

One of the main goals of the week was to familiarize the freshmen with Navy and Marine Corps traditions and give them the skills they will need

Throughout the week, the 4/c learned drill and rifle movements
Throughout the week, the 4/c learned drill and rifle movements

to succeed as a NROTC Midshipmen.  Some of the topics discussed included uniform preparation, Navy and Marine Corps rank structure, time management, study skills, and military customs and courtesies.  With the assistance of upper class midshipmen and the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor (AMOI), SSgt Carlos Askew, the freshmen also became proficient in close-order drill with rifles.

The 41 freshmen were split into two platoons of three squads each.  There was a feeling of competition between the platoons throughout orientation and all of their training and practice culminated with a final uniform inspection and drill competition.  The fourth class impressed the upper class midshipmen with the information they absorbed and demonstrated by the end of the week.

“You could see it in the way they wore their uniforms, marched together in unison, and took pride in the performance of their respective platoons  – they really took the principles we laid out for them throughout the week and implemented them into the way they carried themselves,” stated Indoc Staff Executive Officer Midn 2/c Nicholas Hamilton, Boston College.

MIDN work together to save the USS Buttercup, a wet trainer used to simulate a sinking ship
MIDN work together to save the USS Buttercup, a wet trainer used to simulate a sinking ship

While the majority of the week was spent in the classroom or on the field practicing drill, the fourth class also completed their first physical fitness evaluation, swim qualifications, and were given the chance to use two of the incredible facilities at Naval Station Newport – the USS Buttercup damage control trainer and the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) bridge team simulator.  The USS Buttercup is a wet trainer that provided a realistic learning environment for the fourth class to develop teamwork and communication skills.  The LCS simulator gave the freshmen an idea of what it is like to be in the Surface Warfare community.

“I feel so much more comfortable going into ROTC now that I know the proper customs and courtesies, have my uniform squared away and already know some of the upperclassmen,” says MIDN 4/c Catherine Senoyuit of Boston College.  “I learned a lot about what it means to be in ROTC and to be a leader in the military.”

After the final drill competition, the fourth class midshipmen were given the fouled anchor pins for their Garrison covers.  This symbolic ceremony represented all the hard work and effort that had been put in to the week and marked the beginning of their four years in the NROTC program.  The freshmen will begin their first semester with the knowledge and confidence necessary to be successful midshipmen in the Boston Naval ROTC Battalion.

4/c midshipmen after their final drill competition and inspection
4/c midshipmen after their final drill competition and inspection

Written by MIDN 2/c Katrina Longest