ROTC cadets gain transformative experiences around the world

Eight Senior of Ohio University Army ROTC Cadets scattered around the world over the summer for Cadet Troop Leader Training and Project GO opportunities.

Each year, Army ROTC cadets are eligible for competitive training opportunities that expose them to careers that match their academic and personal interests. These opportunities offer unique three- to four-week experiences where cadets serve in senior lieutenant-level positions in active-duty units.

“The experience our cadets gain is invaluable and allows them to observe other leadership styles and develop their own leadership skills,” said Troy Lovely, who directs the Army ROTC at Ohio University. “I always enjoy hearing their stories and seeing the passion sparked for the leadership profession they are about to begin.”

Carissa Nickell, a psychology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, served in Fort Stewart, Georgia as an Army Medical Department intern at Winn Army Community Hospital, a small hospital for active-duty military members, their dependents, and military retirees. She has completed rotations in paediatrics, physical therapy, occupational therapy, labor and delivery, and the mother-baby unit postpartum. Nickell learned how to draw patient labs, draw blood, learned to read and interpret all labor and delivery monitors, and learned how to assist with natural births.

Carissa Nickell

“There was a culture of respect and it was really learning-oriented. All the nurses and providers there were really enthusiastic about giving us this hands-on experience that you literally can’t get as a nursing student; You can’t get that anywhere else,” Nickell said. “They were really helpful in making sure we were studying at the hospital and doing rotations that would help us figure out what we wanted to pursue after graduation.”

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Nickell said the highlight of her experience was being in the labor, delivery and postpartum departments. Nickell attended more than 10 births, scrubbed at cesareans, and was allowed to hold newborns and take their vitals. She socialized with other cadets from across the country and learned from nurses with extensive military and civilian experience. This experience led Nickell to pursue her passion for nursing, specifically childbirth and childbirth and midwifery. She is now planning to pursue a Masters degree in Nursing to become a Certified Nurse Practitioner Midwife.

Richard Danylo, a chemical engineer and computer scientist major at Russ College of Engineering and Technology, traveled to Germany. He plans to enroll in medical school next fall, so he’s been shadowing doctors to better understand the army doctor’s lifestyle. He met with around 40 doctors and visited 10 different clinics to explore different medical specialties. He has scrubbed in more than 10 surgeries which was a unique experience for an undergraduate student. The army doctors gave him advice on applying to medical school and let him use their medical libraries for research purposes.

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Danylo described participating in a shoulder repair surgery.

“The doctor had me pull skin back … and that was probably like a two-hour surgery. I didn’t know, but apparently it’s a rite of passage that when a lot of people start doing the surgical rotations in medical school, they get to the point where they might pass out because they start sweating and they’ll get tired of grunt work like that.” , said Danylo. “One of the other doctors in the room saw me really sweating but I was careful not to say anything. After that, they had congratulations for me… because I was now admitted to surgery.”

This experience made Danylo consider going into surgical oncology and confirmed that medicine is the career he wants to pursue. Danylo said he appreciates all the mentors he met in Germany, the mentors he has here in OHIO who helped him get the internship, and the university for facilitating the ROTC program.

Nate Frimel, a history and political science student at the College of Arts and Sciences, was also in Germany this summer after completing his mandatory education at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was with Charlie Company in the 1-214 General Support Aviation Battalion. In Army Aviation, each battalion’s Charlie Company is the Medical Evacuation Detachment (MEDEVAC), so pilots were focused on rescue missions. Frimel learned subjects like helicopter aerodynamics and the most efficient way to manage army personnel.

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“I’ve been able to develop effective relationships with almost everyone there,” Frimel said. “From the pilots to the mechanics, experience has taught me what it is like to be an effective army officer. Also, I got to fly in a… Blackhawk, which was by far one of the coolest experiences of my life.”

Luke Hinesley, a management information systems major, also went to Fort Knox, Kentucky, then Germany. He shadowed a lieutenant in the Second Cavalry Regiment and learned what officers in different branches of the army do. Hinesley hopes to become a platoon commander after serving as an army officer. His best experience that summer was blowing up 30 pounds of C-4.

The other cadets from OHIO ROTC who undertook internships and training that summer were Will Dunning, who traveled to South Korea for Air Defense Artillery Training; Chance King, who assisted in demolition practice with an infantry/mortar platoon in Kentucky; Collin Brown, who learned how to parachute out of a helicopter as part of Airborne training in Georgia; and Ander Wehner, who participated in Project Go, a cultural and language immersion program in Taiwan.

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