CULP trip – 2016 – Gabon – Cadet Broderick

Another interesting CULP report from Cadet Broderick who spent part of his Summer in Gabon.

This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Libreville, Gabon to conduct training with the Gabonese military. I was able to obtain this opportunity by applying for a spot in the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP) program. Fortunately, I was picked to conduct my mission of teaching English and become more culturally diverse. Every weekday there were nine cadets conducting English classes for around 30 Gabonese military members from 0830 to 1130. We were assisted by a member of the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in how to go about instructing our lessons. Along with these regularly scheduled instructions there were times that the cadets were able to visit different schools with ages ranging from 4-24 years old collectively. Typically, the ages were on the younger side but a couple of the schools also had students that were older. The main purpose of visiting these schools was to give basic English instruction and experience the culture of the country, but a very important part of interacting with the students was to give them hope. Other activities that were conducted after our morning English lessons, besides the school visitations, were going to the American embassy and making presentations at a Department of State affiliated location called the American Corner.

gabon-team-01-culp_may-24-2016_53

The American Corner was a place where people would go that were looking to come to the United States or wanting to know more about it and learn English. Cadets prepared two presentations each, one on their university and another on a US based interest item. After presenting information on our universities it was made apparent that the Gabonese only wanted to know about how to get to the United States. A smaller group of cadets was put together to compile this information and brief it to the Gabonese who were present at the American Corner. Information on visas, exams, different universities, and the process itself was given to the Gabonese in the hopes of them taking the initiative to try their hardest and come to the US. There were also two Saturdays at the American Corner where the cadets interacted with children and a member of the Department of State in order to teach English.

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Gabon Team 1 CULP American Corner

At the embassy, the cadets learned about the Department of State. Presentations were given by the Regional Security Officer, Defense Attaché, a nurse, a member of the Marine Security Guard, the Deputy Chief of Mission, and the Ambassador. These people gave us a wealth of knowledge and a great amount of insight into their world. We also ran a 5K with employees from the embassy for a fundraiser. The cadets were also invited to a lunch with members of the Young African Leaders Initiative from Gabon at the ambassador’s residence by the ambassador herself. There was also a barbecue that we attended held by employees from the embassy.

gabon-team-01_june-10-2016_11

Another very enlightening experience was being able to visit part of Central Accord 16 and meet other members of the United States Army that were in Gabon at the same time we were. BG Moore, Deputy Commanding General United States Army Africa/ Army, was able to sit down with us for about an hour at breakfast one morning and talk to us about his career and answer any questions we had. LTC LaMotte, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, was able to show us around the Cooperative Security Location (CSL) in Libreville. At this location we were able to meet many different people and see exactly how a joint operation like this functions as well as talk to many 2LT’s about their careers so far and ask for any advice they may have for us.

3rdid

Traveling to Gabon to teach the military English, as well as being fully immersed in the culture of the country, was a very enlightening experience. Starting out there were some assumptions made but these were easily cleared up once in country. Getting to see the similarities and differences in the ways of life of the people of Gabon and comparing them to those of the United States provided for development which better prepared individuals to be suited in handling situations where a difference in culture can easily affect an outcome. There are a few major topics that differ between the United States and Gabon. Two of these are the concepts of time and relationships. The Gabonese do not feel any obligation to being prompt and punctual. An appointment can be made but not actually taken care until several hours later. The pace of life in Gabon is much slower as the Gabonese are looking to build relationships with others whenever they can. Laziness is another big factor that contributes to the effectiveness of the Gabonese. Many do not want to take the initiative but want the results that would come with the initiative. The most interesting part of this laziness is that many Gabonese recognize the laziness in themselves and others. This is why places with little European influence run much slower, while places that have been influenced by Europe have somewhat of a faster pace. Exchanges of money are not seen as an item for money but rather as something being given and in return receiving help in the form of money. Bartering is an example of how this applies as no set standard is made because this provides a means for building up a relationship. Another peculiar aspect of the culture of Gabon is their opinion of other Africans and the French. They tend to dislike people from other African countries besides Gabon and like the French, trying to be increasingly French. Many citizens of Gabon are getting away from their roots and forgetting their mother tongues since they are learning languages like English and French. A large amount of people would like to come to the Unites States and study as well as improve their English. Overall the people of Gabon are not that different from the population of the United States.

The window to apply for next year’s CULP missions has just opened up and I am hoping we will have plenty more adventures to share next Summer.  Still waiting on a few more reports from this past Summer.

Board dates 2014-2015 scholarship boards

Here they are, the dates for this fall/winter’s board dates. If you are applying for a four year high school Army ROTC scholarship that will start in the fall of 2015 these are the dates you should pay attention to. If you are a high school student finishing up your junior year and going into senior year in the fall, these are your dates.

1st High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 3-Oct-14
1st High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 17-Oct-14
1st High School Selection Board 20-Oct-14
2nd High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 24-Dec-14
2nd High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 2-Jan-15
2nd High School Selection Board 5-Jan-15
4-Year High School Application Deadline for SY 15-16 10-Jan-15
Final (3rd) HS Selection Board Deadline for Docs — Missing Items 28-Feb-15
3rd High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 6-Mar-15
Final (3rd) High School Selection Board  9-Mar-15

So, what does all this mean. If you have a strong file you should be shooting to have your file complete by 3 October and reviewed by the first board.

Look at SAT/ACT dates. If you don’t do so well the first time you take those tests your second shot is usually some time shortly after the October board, so you should be shooting for the second board and submitting improved scores if your file isn’t strong. Here’s where you can get some help with those tests, use it.

If you wait until the second or third board your chances are diminished because there will obviously be less allocations available after each board.

As you go through the process make sure you read about all the components (this blog is a good source of information, if I do say so myself) and stay in touch with at least one of the recruiting officers at one of the schools on your list. Notice I said recruiting Officer, and not recruiter…there is a difference.

Bears and Saints 2013

The Golden Knight Battalion is made up of Cadets from all four of the schools in the North Country (ClarksonSt LawrenceSUNY Potsdam, and SUNY Canton). Each of the schools adds something special to the mix. Although they all bring unique qualities to the Battalion they all become part of the Battalion quickly. The mix was a good one again this year.  Of note was the fact that all three of the commissionees at SUNY Potsdam was a member of the National Guard or Army Reserves.

This was also the last year that Dr. Schwaller, the President at SUNY Potsdam will participate in our ceremony.  Each year he made it a point to mention that his first official duty when he arrived at SUNY Potsdam was to be part of an Army ROTC commissioning ceremony.  We wish him well as he leave SUNY Potsdam this summer.

Dr Schwaller

So without further adieu, our Commissionees for the Class of 2013 from St Lawrence and State University of New York at Potsdam.

Lieutenant Joel Diagostino

Lieutenant Diagostino is being commissioned into the Corps of Engineers.  He received a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from State University of New York at Potsdam.  He will attend the Engineer Officer basic course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and will serve in the Army Reserves with the 366th MAC Engineer Company here in the North Country.  He also scored the first goal in the hockey game against Air Force this year.

Lieutenant Jacob O’Brien

Lieutenant O’Brien is being commissioned into the Quartermaster Corps.  He received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from State University of New York at Potsdam.  He will serve at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Washington this summer prior to attending the Quartermaster Officer basic course at Fort Lee, Virginia.  His first duty will be at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with the 82nd Airborne Division.

Lieutenant Robishaw

Lieutenant Robishaw is being commissioned into the Transportation Corps.  He received bachelor of arts degrees in criminal justice and sociology from State University of New York at Potsdam.  After graduation he will attend the Transportation Officer basic course in Fort Lee, Virginia.  His first duty assignment will be at Fort Campbell, Kentucky with the 101st Combat Support Command.

empey silver dollar

Lieutenant Sean Empey

Lieutenant Empey is being commissioned into the Chemical Corps.  He received a bachelor of arts degree from St Lawrencein history.  He will serve this summer at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Washington prior to attending the Chemical  Officer basic course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  His first duty assignment will be Fort Hood, Texas with the 1ST Cavalry Division.

We are now almost “Mission Complete” on the class of 2013. We do have three Cadets who are finishing up course work and plan to earn their degree and commission before the end of the semester.  These three will allow us to exceed our commission mission again this year.   Not bad for a small school from the real upstate New York.

GKB commissioning 2013

We held our commissioning ceremony at Clarkson University on 11 May this year.  We commissioned 10 Cadets, and we had commissioned 2LT Nicky Lea in December which made a total of 11 Clarkson Lieutenants to date for the year group.

Thanks to our guest speaker Major General Robert Stall

Clarkson commissioning 2013

Here are the new Lieutenants

Lieutenant Dylan Bach 

Lieutenant Bach is commissioned into the Transportation Corps.  He will receive a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering.  He will attend the Transportation Officer basic course at Fort Lee, Virginia.  His first duty assignment will be at Fort Drum, New York.

Lieutenant Gregory Christian

Lieutenant Christian is commissioned into the Military Police Corps.  He will receive a bachelor of science degree in global supply chain management and a minor in project management.  He will work at this summer at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis,  Washington prior to attending the Military Police Officer basic course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  His first duty assignment will be in Sembach Germany.

Lieutenant Matthew Coryea

Lieutenant Coryea is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers.  He will receive a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering.  He will attend the Engineer Officer basic course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  His first duty assignment will be in the Army Reserves with the 366th Combat Engineer Battalion.

Lieutenant Ian Lamos

Lieutenant Lamos is commissioned into the Military Intelligence branch.  He will receive bachelor of science degrees in mechanical engineering and mathematics.  He will attend the Military Intelligence  Officer basic course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.  His first duty assignment will be at Fort Drum, New York with the Tenth Mountain Division.

Lieutenant Patrick McPartland

Lieutenant McPartland is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers.  He will receive a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.  He will attend the Engineer Officer basic course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  He will serve in the Army Reserves with the 305th Engineer Detachment at Fort Wadsworth, New York.

Lieutenant Nick Olszewski

Lieutenant Olszewski is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers.  He will receive a bachelor of science degree in engineering and management.  He will attend the Engineer Officer basic course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  His first duty assignment will be at Fort Riley, Kansas with the First Infantry Division.

Lieutenant Olszewski will also receive a certificate recognizing him as a Distinguished Military Graduate signifying his high standing in the class and national order of merit list.

Lieutenant Steve Strait

Lieutenant Strait is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers.  He will receive bachelor of science degrees in civil engineering.  He will attend the Engineer officer basic course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  His first duty assignment will be at Fort Bragg, North Carolina with the 20th Engineer Brigade.

Lieutenant Joshua Addington

Lieutenant Addington is commissioned into the Ordinance Corps.  He will receive bachelor of science degrees in history.  He will attend the Ordinance  Officer basic course at Fort Lee, Virginia.  His first duty assignment will be in the Army Reserves with the  1107th Mobile Support out of Fort Eustis, Virginia.

Lieutenant Andrew Christian

Lieutenant Christian is commissioned into the Military Police Corps.  He will receive bachelor of science degrees in psychology.  He will attend the Military Police officer basic course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  His first duty assignment will be in the Army Reserves with the 382nd Military Police Battalion.

Lieutenant Lampert

Lieutenant Lampert is commissioned into the Military Intelligence branch.  He will receive bachelor of science degrees in aeronautical and mechanical engineering.  He will attend the Military Intelligence officer basic course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.  His first duty assignment will be in the Army Reserves with A Company, 325th Military Intelligence Battalion out of Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

Reprise- Fall 2012 – Spring 2013 scholarship board dates

This is a reprise of the blog I posted a couple months ago.  Dates will be coming quick, so get on it if you are interested.

Here they are, the dates for this fall/winter’s board dates. If you are applying for a four year high school Army ROTC scholarship that will start in the fall of 2013 these are the dates you should pay attention to. If you are a high school student finishing up your junior year and going into senior year in the fall, these are your dates.

1st High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 1-Oct-12
1st High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 12-Oct-12
1st High School Selection Board 15-Oct-12
2nd High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 26-Dec-12
2nd High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 4-Jan-13
2nd High School Selection Board 7-Jan-13
4-Year High School Application Deadline for SY 13-14 10-Jan-13
Final (3rd) HS Selection Board Deadline for Docs — Missing Items 28-Feb-13
3rd High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 8-Mar-13
Final (3rd) High School Selection Board 11-Mar-13


So, what does all this mean. If you have a strong file you should be shooting to have your file complete by 1 October and reviewed by the first board.

Look at SAT/ACT dates. If you don’t do so well the first time you take those tests your second shot is usually some time shortly after the October board, so you should be shooting for the second board and submitting improved scores if your file isn’t strong. Here’s where you can get some help with those tests, use it.

If you wait until the second or third board your chances are diminished because there will obviously be less allocations available after each board.

As you go through the process make sure you read about all the components (this blog is a good source of information, if I do say so myself) and stay in touch with at least one of the recruiting officers at one of the schools on your list. Notice I said recruiting Officer, and not recruiter…there is a difference.

Summertime

What are you planning to do this Summer? The GKB is off and running and will be spread across the globe making things happen. It’s always an exciting time as our cadets head out to challenge themselves in many different places and many different ways.

We are starting this week to send the cadets that just completed their MS III/junior year to the Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), also known as Warrior Forge and a couple of our cadets just finishing their MS II/sophomore year to the Leader’s Training Course (LTC). Both of these training events are the type of hands on leadership training and evaluation that make Army ROTC leadership training unique.
Warrior Forge is essentially the “final exam” of Army ROTC training. The cadets who are headed out to LDAC will be tested on their land nav skills, physical fitness, tactical knowledge, and leadership abilities. They will each receive 6 blue card evaluations in accordance with LDP HANDBOOK – 1 Apr 2011
The Cadets headed to LTC are meeting the requirements of the Basic Course (normally the first two years of Army ROTC class). These Cadets entered the program late and the training they will attend will be a combination of evaluation and marketing, as the Cadet gets the opportunity to see what the Army has to offer and the LTC cadre are seeing if the Cadet has what it takes to enter the program. Our candidates this year are fully prepared and I expect all of them to be ready to contract when they return.
Along with these training courses we have Cadets headed to Airborne, Air Assault, and CULP trips. This year we were able to get an Airborne slot. Cadet Tanner Jones is there as I type. We got a number of Air Assault slots in a number of venues, and we will have Cadets learning to work with helicopters most of the summer. We have already had Cadet O’Donnell journey to Tunisia for CULP and we will have 5 more Cadets headed to places like Georgia (the country), Cape Verde, Peru, and Tanzania. 6 Cadets in all will experience another culture this year.

Mr. Vielhauer and Mr. Wash, two of our cadre, are at LDAC this summer, and we will have cadre and cadets at New York Boy’s State this year.
Some people think things slow down when summer arrives in ROTC land. Nothing could be further from the truth.

GKB 2012 Clarkson graduates

Here are the Cadets that will take their oath tomorrow and commission into the Army. The following day they will graduate from Clarkson University. A good group of Army Leaders.

Lieutenant Chris Coveleski

Lieutenant Coveleski is commissioned into the Transportation Corps. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Suppy Chain Management with a minor in Law Studies. He will attend the Transportation Officer Basic Course at Fort Eustis, Virginia. He will serve in the New York National Guard with the 42nd Infantry Division Intelligence and Sustainment Company.

Lieutenant Russell Austin

Lieutenant Austin is commissioned into the Infantry. He will graduate with distinction and receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He will serve at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Washington this summer prior to attending the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. His first duty assignment will be at Fort Campbell, Kentucky with the 101st Airborne Division.

Lieutenant Austin is also a distinguished military graduate signifying his high standing in the class and national order of merit list.

Lieutenant Matthew Edgette

Lieutenant Edgette is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will graduate with distinction and receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His first duty assignment will be at Heidleberg Germany with the 18th Engineer Brigade.

Lieutenant Michael Fensterer

Lieutenant Fensterer is commissioned into the Armor Branch. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Supply Chain Management. He will attend the Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. LT Fensterer also leaves Clarkson with a perfect 4-0 record as the goalie for the the Army team in our annual ice hockey game against Air Force.

Lieutenant Timothy Nevin

Lieutenant Nevin is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degrees in Innovation and Entrepreneurship with a minor in Project Management. He will serve at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Washington this summer prior to attending the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He will serve in the Reserves with the 382nd Engineer Company, Sappers out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Lieutenant Chris O’Connor

Lieutenant O’Connor is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His first duty assignment will be at Fort Carson, Colorado with the 4th Engineer Battalion.

Lieutenant David Pecka

Lieutenant Pecka is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He will serve in the Reserves with the 479th Engineer Battalion out of Fort Drum, New York.

Lieutenant Joshua Risewick

Lieutenant Risewick is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His first duty assignment will be at Fort Hood, Texas with the 36th Engineer Brigade.

Lieutenant Jonathon Waterman

Lieutenant Waterman is commissioned into Military Intelligence branch. He will receive a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree. He will attend the Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He will serve in the Reserves with the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion in Mattydale, New York.

Lieutenant Jennifer Zanghi

Lieutenant Zanghi is commissioned into the Medical Service Corps. She will graduate with great distinction and receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. She will attend the Medical Services Officer Basic Course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas prior to attending flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama in order to train as a medevac pilot.

Lieutenant Zanghi is also recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate signifying her high standing in the class and national order of merit list.

Congratulations to all the Golden Knights…stay tuned for our Commissionees from SUNY Potsdam and St Lawrence who will commission next week.