Excelsior Battalion Army ROTC
The Recoil Fall 2018
In This Issue:
  • Welcome Message From Excelsior 6

  • Message From The Commander of Cadets

  • No Slack At The Excelsior Battalion

  • Airborne!

  • Ranger Challenge

  • CULP

  • Troop Leading Time

  • Field Training Exercise

  • Senior Assignments
Welcome to The Recoil: Excelsior Battalion
Welcome to the alumni, family, and friends of the Excelsior Battalion. I am extremely excited to be the Professor of Military Science of such a prestigious program with a storied history. On behalf of the Cadets and Cadre of the battalion and after a multi-year hiatus, The Recoil is back. The Recoil is a biannual publication with the autumn edition focusing on summer training and the fall semester and the spring edition focusing on the second semester. Our Cadets are doing amazing things across the Southern Tier and upholding the high standards of this storied battalion. We hope you enjoy the rebirth of The Recoil and stay connected to the program. 

LTC James Tully
Excelsior 6

A Message From The Commander of Cadets
By Cadet Dullea

I study biology. One of the first classes I took as a freshman when I arrived at college was an introductory biology course- focused on evolution and diversity in animals over time. While I learned a lot about the history of the earth, and different synapomorphies that aid in classifying different genera from one another, one trend from that class transcends the gap I often find with my college classes and my ROTC training; In order to survive, an organism (or organization) must be prepared to adapt to new challenges. This is vital for anyone hoping to succeed over a long period of time in our dynamic world. The student must be prepared to adapt to college, the business owner must adjust his or her model to survive turbulent markets, and armies must reconfigure their strategies in order to defend against different foes. On a more relevant level, how can I act as Battalion Commander to make our battalion the best it can be?
        We started changing things at PT. As opposed to previous years where one MSIII was responsible for designing the PT plan for the entire semester, each week a new MSIII is assigned to plan and lead PT. They are paired with an MSIV to oversee the process to ensure the workouts are consistently relevant and engaging. This trend of MSIV oversight continues and goes further in the weekly labs, where MSIVs are now responsible for planning and execution, which in previous years fell to the MSIIIs. This is due to the realization that as MSIVs have just completed Summer Training, and we have the most accurate idea as to what will be expected of the cadets that are going to training next year. These labs supplement our Field Training Exercise, where Cadets train for three days in the woods in a setting that we make as close to Summer Training as possible.
As I write this, we are a little more than halfway through with the semester, but so far these changes are working for the better. Cadets are reporting that they feel more engaged and that they find the training more relevant as opposed to more abstract. With the hard work of my outstanding staff, I hope this trend can continue for the remainder of this term and ensure a smooth transition into the next administration in Spring semester. 
No Slack At The Excelsior Battallion
By MAJ Vinny Nguyen, Cornell Army ROTC Executive Officer

During the 2018 summer, the Excelsior Battalion had seven Cadets and two newly commissioned 2 nd Lieutenants graduate from the US Army Air Assault Course at Fort Drum, NY and Fort Hood, TX. We selected Cadets that upheld the highest level of professionalism, physical fitness, and academic performance to represent our program. For the first time in the history of our ROTC program at the Excelsior Battalion, we started an Air Assault Training Program to ensure our cadets had the greatest opportunity to graduate. With assistance from Cadets Carmichael (Cornell `19), Dullea (Cornell `19), and Chung (now 2LT, Cornell `18), we designed a training program that mentally and physically prepared each candidate for the rigors that they will face during the 10-day course. Our training program resulted in a 100% pass rate, and our graduates will now be an integral part of training the next group of Cadets during this school year.  

From left to right: CPT Laisure (S3), Cadet Koch (Cornell `21), 2LT Trentanelli (Elmira `18), and CDT de Peyster (Cornell `21), and MAJ Nguyen
Falling From The Sky
By Cadet Rae '20

This past summer I was given the opportunity to attend the Basic Airborne Course (BAC) at Fort Benning, Georgia. Airborne School is a three-week course designed to teach soldiers how to successfully preform static line parachuting. At the conclusion of Airborne School, I completed the required five jumps, including two nights jumps and two combat-load jumps. Although the curriculum is designed to teach students the fundamentals of static line jumps, as a Cadet, I learned much more. I was able to live with and interact with experienced NCOs and Officers. They showed me how real units operate, what I can expect from my first platoon, and what it would take to be a leader in the U.S. Army. I overcame internal fears and challenges as I jumped out of a C-130 airplane- 1,250 feet above the ground. Finally, I gained confidence in the U.S Army’s training methods and equipment. The instructors in Fort Benning took great patience and sincerity as they ensured each of the paratroopers-to-be received proper instruction. 
Cadets Tested and Rewarded as a Part of the Ranger Challenge Team
By Cadet Carmichael
I have done a lot during my years through ROTC, but nothing quite compares to Ranger Challenge. Ranger Challenge is a staple of every Army ROTC program, and serves as a way for motivated cadets to excel in their program and in their character. I have been on the Excelsior Battalion’s Ranger Challenge team every year since I started at Cornell, and I am honored to serve as the captain of the team this year.

The Ranger Challenge competition is a team event that tests Army skills, as well as physical fitness. Every ROTC program in 2nd Brigade, the Northeast United States, sends a team of 9 Cadets to Fort Dix, NJ in October. The competition spans an entire weekend, usually comprised of weapons training, one-rope bridge, an obstacle course, crew-served weapon drills, a ruck march, and much more. Each event tests technical skill, physical fitness, and the ability to work as a team under stress.

The training for Ranger Challenge is not easy. The competition takes place in mid-October every year, so tryouts and training start almost immediately, and do not stop until the competition is over. Cadets are expected to train every weekday before sunrise and classes. The training regimen every week usually consists of two PT sessions either with the rest of the Battalion, or separate sessions specifically designed for the competition; one ruck march, one long run, and one skills session. Other weekend and afternoon sessions are added as needed depending on resources and time available in the mornings.

While this sounds demanding for some, the benefits of being on the Ranger Challenge team far outweigh the time spent. Cadets that train with the Ranger Challenge team have a lot more opportunity to learn Army skills than their peers in the same class. Ranger Challenge cadets have more opportunity to do things such as rappelling, weapons training, and land navigation- which are important skills that any soldier should know. Being a part of the Ranger Challenge team not only provides technical knowledge, but also creates an enduring camaraderie among the team members. During training and the competition itself, the team is tested and every individual is pushed to his or her limit at some point; however, no one can deny how much they enjoyed the experience.  Everyone I know who has participated in the Ranger Challenge competition, regardless of performance, has gained a team of close friends and a sense of accomplishment worth every minute spent training.

The Ranger Challenge team this year is comprised of many returning members from last year, as well as a few new members who have a lot of potential. I am proud of how much effort every individual has put forth thus far, and I am excited to travel to Fort Dix in a couple weeks. I know that the next two weeks of training will be intense for everyone involved, but our performance at the competition will reflect all the effort that we have put in.
Cultural Understand and Learning Program
By Cadet Smart
This summer I had the honor of attending both Air Assault School at Fort Drum, NY and CULP (Cultural Understanding and Leadership Program) in Guyana, South America. Both opportunities were truly incredible. A few weeks after Air Assault School I attended CULP, which I truly believe is the coolest opportunity afforded through ROTC. The program sends diverse groups of cadets from around the United States to developing nations around the world for a month-long trip, where they are immersed in various aspects of that nation’s culture, particularly its military. I was selected to travel to Guyana, a small country in northern South America that is almost entirely immersed in the Amazon rainforest.
We divided our time there between training with ensigns from the Guyanese military, exploring the capital city, learning jungle survival skills, and traveling deep into the Amazon via truck, foot, boat, and plane where we volunteered in Amerindian villages. Exploring the country and culture in Guyana was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I gained new perspectives, had great adventures, and met some incredible people. The cadets I traveled with were all great companions, and they made the trip all the more enjoyable. Overall, my favorite part of my ROTC experience thus far has been the people. The cadets, soldiers, and officers I’ve met are all true men and women of character who make every experience an adventure.
Cadet Troop Leading Time
By Cadet Vignone

This summer I had the opportunity of attending an AMEDD internship immediately following my completion of Advanced Camp at the largest Army Hospital outside of the United States in Landstuhl, Germany. Anyone who is deployed and needs medical care is sent there. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the internship, but being a biochemistry major I was excited to learn about anything, and refresh myself on science after being at camp. While I was there, I rotated between many different wings/departments within the hospital and got to shadow many different officers. I started in Patient Administration Division (PAD), which deals with mostly paperwork of patients within the hospital, and making sure that all the proper paperwork is filled out for patients, including getting United States birth certificates for babies born at the hospital. I was with a captain who is a 70B, which is what most Medical Service officers commission as. I also rotated through different labs, such as immunology, infectious diseases, microbiology and virology, and central processing. I learned about the flow of samples and the types of tests that are run, and the problems and policies that Officers in charge (OIC) of the lab must handle on a day to day basis. I attended different briefs with many high ranking officers who, while intimidating, were very friendly, asked me questions, and answered any questions I had about what was happening. Other than working in the lab, I also made good friends with three other cadets who were doing the same internship, and we even traveled to Berlin and Vienna together. Even though I didn’t have much of a traditional college summer, the internship was an amazing, eye-opening experience that changed the way I thought about the Army- and my future. I even changed from asking for the National Guard to asking for Active Duty when I returned, and I will be going Active Duty when I commission in May. 
Senior Assignments
After four years of PT before the sun rises, countless hours in the classroom, weekends in the frozen tundra of Fort Drum, and a month in the merciless heat of Fort Knox, the senior Cadets of the Excelsior Battalion finally found out how all that hard work paid off.
We are excited to announce the component and branch results of these outstanding senior Cadets, and we wish them the best of luck as they prepare to continue their exceptional performance upon commissioning as a 2LT in May.
Active Duty
  • Joseph Dullea
  • Aviation
  • Hannah Vignone
  • Medical Services
  • Caleb Carmichael
  • Engineer
  • Nicholas Cancro
  • Signal
  • Juliana Russo
  • Chemical
  • Jean Huh
  • Adjunct General Branch Detail Infantry
  • William Kim
  • Transportation
  • Nicholas Crawford
  • Military Police
Reserve Component
  • Samantha Camacho
  • Military Police
  • Aidan Farrel
  • Medical Services
  • Jesse DeTeresa
  • Infantry
  • Daniel A. Fuentes Villatoro
  • Medical Services
  • John Elrodt
Excelsior Battalion Army ROTC
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