DePaul University Commissioning Ceremony
Friday, June 8th, 2018.
Cortelyou Commons, 9:30AM
-Spring 2018 Cadet Newsletter-
From the Commander:
Lieutenant Colonel Bugajski greets cadets during the morning physical readiness training
By Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Bugajski
Family and friends of the Rambler Program – the past few months have been amazing for our Cadets at Loyola, DePaul, Northwestern, NEIU, and North Park – we returned from winter break reenergized and remain focused on the months ahead that lead to graduation, commissioning, and summer training. We welcomed new leadership to the Program in early January, and our Battalion Commander, CDT Rachel Reed, and Battalion Command Sergeant Major, CDT Brendan Filip, have been doing a wonderful job at strengthening our organization and bringing it to new heights. In addition to having a successful winter military formal, that was well attended by over 180 cadets, Family, and friends of the Rambler Program, we held our first ever Iron Rambler competition, a physically demanding contest that included the entire Loyola community and the Navy ROTC unit from Northwestern. A team of cadets also attended the Flying Irish Basketball Tournament at Notre Dame, another first, and despite going 3-0, lost in overtime to the team that eventually won the tournament.
At the end of April, 15 cadets, MSG Desierto, and I will honor our heroes at the Bataan Death March in New Mexico by competing in a 26 mile ruck march. The remainder of the year sees our spring training event at Marseilles Training Center (13-15 April), the first ever Rambler Mud Rush for Valor (21 April), a FBI Training Day (05 May), the Ragnar Relay Race (18-19 May), and the commissioning of our soon-to-be second lieutenants on 12 May and 08 June. Our cadets have also earned over 10 spots to highly sought after military schools like airborne, air assault, and other military schools, as well as amazing internship opportunities at the National Security Agency or in countries like South Korea. Most importantly, we are going to welcome over 25 new Ramblers into the Program, as both our freshman and sophomores earned contracted scholarships that begin next year! I am very proud to be a part of this Program and urge you to support our cadets at events. You are always welcome here in Chicago or at any of our training events. You are always welcome to contact me about anything! Please feel free to call me at 202-441-6049 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer 2018 Specialty Schools
By Cadet Matthew Holden
This summer we have eight cadets attending Airborne, Air Assault, and other Army specialty schools. Cadets Hogan, Castro, Schuck, Trent, Rempert, Jokerst, Holden, and Dorroff, will travel to various military installations this summer in order to gain experience through these amazing opportunities. Cadets attending Airborne school will be assigned to the 507th Infantry Regiment out of Fort Benning, Georgia. Airborne school is a three-week course that starts out with ground week. Ground week involves physical and technical training that is meant to prepare the individual to safely progress to the subsequent weeks. Week two is tower week. Tower week involves competency of exit procedures from the 34’ tower and the use of a parachute from the 250 foot tower. Week three is jump week. The culmination of this course comes with 5 successful jumps from a height of over 1000 feet in the air.
Other cadets will be participating in the 10 day air assault course. Even though it is the shorter course, Air Assault is known for its difficulty with multiple ruck marches - the longest being 12 miles - and high technical proficiency with sling load operations and the practice of rappelling. Our program might also be sending two cadets to the Jungle Operations Training Course in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. This school is designed to prepare soldiers for fighting in harsh and difficult conditions that are associated with tropical warfare. Nevertheless our cadets will perform great and represent the Rambler Battalion with pride wherever they are going.
A soldier cunducts a static line jump during the Basic Airborne Course (Source: goarmy.com)
Military Ball 2018
By Cadet Luke Jokerst
The Loyola Rambler Battalion 2018 Military Ball was a great success! The Union League Club of Chicago was a beautiful venue to host the event, with great food, great staff, and a great atmosphere. The American flag, covering an entire wall of the venue, set the stage for the night as a reminder to all present of the reason we put on the uniform and what all our training is leading towards: defending this great country. Cadre, cadets, and our distinguished guests had a chance to commemorate the history of the battalion as well as honor the accomplishments and hard work achieved over the last year. After presenting the colors and recounting the history of the battalion, cadets partook in the creation and consumption of the army grog, a truly potent brew. The cadets then presented toasts, honoring the battalion as well as those who have come before and those who are no longer with us. Everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner and the traditional Cutting of the Cake Ceremony by Brigadier (ret.) General Banks and CDT Zavalla, the oldest and youngest members in attendance. Guest speaker Brigadier (Ret.) General Banks spoke of the importance of competence, character, and commitment in being an effective leader and reminded us of the importance of our training and diligence in becoming future army officers. Being the emcee for such a prestigious event was a great honor. The event would not have been such a resounding success if it weren’t for the hard work of all the cadre and cadets who made it a reality, especially CPT Kearney, CDT Sarsok, and CDT Orlando. I thank all those who were in attendance and look forward to the accomplishments of the Loyola Rambler battalionstill to come as the year closes out.
Cadets participate in the grog bowl ceremony during the 2018 Military Ball
Staying in Shape
By Cadet Vanessa Huerta
Keeping up with healthy eating habits and routine workouts can be hard during college, but possible. A couple of things that have helped me have been meal prep and SPIN. I opt out of a meal plan to control what I eat and ensure that I am getting nutrients in every single bite. Plus, it’s a stress reliever for me to cook on the weekends and prepare for the upcoming week. Cardio doesn’t have to be boring, SPIN classes are offered at Halas Recreational Center at various times of the week. If I know I will be eating out later during the week, I’ll make sure to get an intense bike cycling workout at gym. When it’s not winter in Chicago, going out for a quick run is always a wonderful way to take a study break and clear my mind. There are many ways to stay in shape and pass the AFPT. Two minutes of sit ups and pushups before bed every night is the best way to ensure I pass my AFPT. Think of your workout as a homework assignment, this way you have no choice other than to get it done. Your body will thank you later!
Bataan Memorial Death March
By Cadet Taryn Chovan
The Bataan Memorial Death March is a challenging ruck march through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range. The memorial march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their lives. Myself and fourteen other cadets will be spending the weekend in New Mexico to compete in the march and represent the Rambler Battalion in three, 5-person teams. The ruck is a marathon long (26.2 miles), carrying a 35lb rucksack through dirt, sand, and a peak elevation of over 1,650 meters above sea level. We have trained over the course of eight weeks, waking up early and pushing ourselves every day in preparation for the march. The march itself was a challenge, but I am excited to have had this opportunity to push myself physically and mentally. Female team placed second in the Female Military Heavy category, Male team placed sixth in the Male ROTC Heavy category, and the Co-ed team placed ninth in the Co-ed ROTC military Heavy category. The success of cadets representing our program speak to the dedication and spirit of these men and women.
The Bataan Team completed the grueling march on 25 March 2018
Cadet of the Semester Spotlights
At end of Fall 2017 semester, a board consisting of senior cadets and cadre picked three cadets, one from each class as Cadet of the Semester. This decision was based on their performance during the board, their involvement in the program, and overall character. Loyola Army ROTC would like to recognize these individuals and congratulate them on their success.
Cadet Nicholas Elish, Freshman
My experience at both Loyola University and in the ROTC program has been an extremely positive, challenging, and overall rewarding one. I am studying Criminal Justice and Criminology, which will hopefully allow me to attain a career in federal law enforcement, which has been my goal since high school. This has been my goal because I have always had a desire to keep my friends and family safe, and as I grew older and more mature, I realized that this same principle of security could be applied to the United States, as we face both internal and external challenges and threats daily. Consequently, I believed that joining the ROTC program would be a good way to gain leadership experience from the organization that is designed around the premise of defending the country. The friends, mentors, and leaders that I encounter daily from both the cadre and my fellow cadets is exceptional, and traits like confidence, intelligence, pressured decision-making, and even daily functioning at PT in the mornings has all helped to mold my own perception and understanding of what it means to be an effective leader. Overall, I would say that what I am looking to get out of my time in the Army is the ability to analyze different situations, ranging from daily contact with Soldiers to combat scenarios, and understand how to properly come to a conclusion that is logical and coincides with the objectives of the situation.
Cadet Chandler Bullard, Sophomore
I am currently a sophomore in ROTC and I am a Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience major. I chose this major because it focuses my studies on pre-medicine requirements while also having an emphasis on psychology. I have been in the ROTC program since I started at Loyola my freshman year and it has definitely had a large impact my life. I have grown and developed my character through this program. It has improved my leadership and self discipline greatly, but the best part is the friends and support system I have made. I would like to commission into the Medical Services branch for the National Guard and attend medical school. After finishing medical school, I would like to switch to Active Duty and serve in the Medical Corps.
Cadet Alexa Orlando, Junior
I am an exercise science major at Loyola University Chicago. I chose this major because I have been interested in how the muscles of the human body work together so perfectly to perform intricate movements and how every system in the body is affected through exercise. I originally became interested in this topic during ballet classes, where I would focus on exactly what muscle would be used for each movement. Now I can apply my classes to everything I do. I use the basics of exercise prescription to create PT plans and theories of muscular adaptation to my own workouts. ROTC has been such an incredible experience for me. Even though I joined a year late, this has definitely been my best decision. My proudest moment was contracting a year ago because I knew that this was one of the first things that I had truly accomplished by myself. I want to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy, so I am hoping to receive an educational delay after commissioning. After that my goal is to be an active duty Doctor of Physical Therapy; I want to help injured soldiers return to their previous level of functionality.
I am so thankful for every experience that ROTC has offered to me so far and I cannot wait to see what I accomplish as an Army officer.