One thing that sets Army ROTC Battalions apart is what resources are available to conduct training. The GKB is blessed with an abundance of training sites and resources. A close relationship with the reserve unit in Canton and a relationship with Fort Drum allow us to do many things other units can't. Most of the land we need to train is within a 20 minute drive of campus.
Power company land boardered by the Raquette river and a big blue aquaduct, this piece of land is ideal for land navigation training and squad situational training exercise (STX) lanes. With a well defined trail system and identifiable terrain features this is the perfect piece of land for honing navigation and mapreading skills without ending up lost.
You are practically in the Adirondacks as you train on the state land surrounding the former Clarkson ski hill. Again, well defined trails and terrain features facilitate testing navigation skills. The size and remote nature of the locations allow large scale tactical exercises with paintball. It's also the perfect place for spending a night or two in the woods.
A rappel tower, a land nav course, a Field Leadership Reaction Course (FLRC) and the Walker Center allow us to do most of what we need to do right on campus. It's not unusual for a student to look out their dorm window and see cadets with their faces painted green practicing individual movement techniques (IMT) right on the Hamlin-Powers lawn.
An hour North of Watertown and Fort Drum, home to the 10th Moutain Division, we are able to leverage this proximity in a number of ways. Close relationships with units on post allow the cadets to visit and spend time with junior officers and their non commissioned officer counterparts and learn what they are looking forward to as platoon leaders. Receiving a battle brief from a unit that was in the fight less than a year prior is a priceless opportunity for a future Army leader. Using the ranges and simulators and spending time on post all enhance the Cadets experience and preparation for their future service.
One of the critical tasks a Cadet learns in ROTC is map reading and land navigation. Being able to look at a map and visualize what the terrain will look like on the ground is essential. Being able to plot grid coordinates, determine azimuths, and measure distance are skills to be developed. Converting those plotted points and azimuths to compass directions and pace counts allow the Cadets to find their way in the woods to where they need to be. Having mulitiple pieces of land to navigate on, and numerous opportunities each semester prepare the Cadets. When they attend Warrior Forge between junior and senior year land navigation is a make or break test they must pass to graduate.