Videos: Today's Military
  • Army National Guard

    ROTC Training at Golden Gate Park(01:35)

    Alex Fan and his fellow Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) students engage in an exercise in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Fan describes the purpose of the exercise, which involves operations order and squad tactics.

    Fan began his military career by enlisting in the Army National Guard. When he decided to attend college at the University of San Francisco, he enrolled in the school's ROTC program. Through ROTC, students take classes in leadership development and military skills, and they must also apply what they have learned in field exercises.

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Cadet Alex Fan: My name is Alex Fan. I am currently a cadet with University of San Francisco ROTC. My current unit is a dismounted patrol recon unit, so whenever we go out to the field for training, we do things like try to learn intelligence from the enemy.

[cadets speaking to each other in the field]

Cadet Alex Fan: Currently, we're learning this thing called operation order, or they call it "op order." You translate higher orders into your squad level or platoon level.

[cadets speaking to each other in the field]

Cadet Alex Fan: You'll see that we're practicing squad tactics where upper classmen are acting as squad leaders, and they will follow the operation orders to lead the lower class members to complete a mission. It will be kind of like a practice run for any real mission.

Being a cadet in ROTC makes you non-deployable, because you're technically considered a student. That's why it's a really good opportunity for someone who wants to join the Military and complete a college education at the same time. Once you complete ROTC and complete all your officer trainings, you are eligible for deployment. Deployment I see as, like, a test to see how well your training has prepared you. It puts everything you learned into a real-life situation.