Army ROTC cadets participating in NFSTC’s Forensics and Biometrics Internship wrapped up their stay on Friday with intensive, hands-on site exploitation exercises featuring scenarios derived from real battlefield experiences. The exercises provided the cadets with a unique opportunity to learn valuable skills in advance of their military careers. The skills include determining primary and secondary mission objectives, making decisions and prioritizing actions under pressure, understanding the probative value of evidence, managing detainees during a forensic search, and tactics for thoroughly documenting and searching a target site.
Cadets worked in teams to complete the site exploitation exercises, requiring them to demonstrate leadership abilities, personal responsibility, and adherence to overall mission objectives. Under the direction of coordinator Garry Ashton, each team reviewed the evidence they collected to determine what items were most valuable in achieving their objectives and, overall, how successfully they executed their mission.
Earlier in the week, the cadets received a visit from Colonel Peggy Combs, Deputy Commanding General of the United States Army Cadet Command. The colonel came to observe the cadets in action and get a feel for the value of the training to the overall ROTC program. Her visit corresponded with the course on improvised explosive device detection and investigation techniques, a highly relevant topic for current and future soldiers.
After spending some time with the cadets in the firing range, NFSTC CEO Kevin Lothridge said, “We’re fortunate to be able to offer this program; it’s unique and it’s visionary. This is an opportunity to engage future leaders at the beginning of their careers. These folks, if they choose intelligence, chemical or military police roles, will already have a foundation in forensics; skills that will prove invaluable in the field.”