Army training exercise at UNF served as learning and recruiting tool

Military recruitment crisis

Army cadets at the University of North Florida’s ROTC program got real hands-on experience In what it’s like to save lives in the event of war or natural disaster.

The realistic scenario involved a Blackhawk helicopter landing on campus.

It was as close to the real thing as the cadets will get.

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They were exposed to medical evacuation techniques, which are crucial skills needed in the Army to save a life.

Brittney Teasley was one of the cadets who got the training for the first time Tuesday.

“It’s so important for everyone to communicate, work together. Otherwise, this lab that we’re doing wouldn’t work,” said Teasley.


Whether they’re in a combat zone or a natural disaster zone, Maj. Dana Norris said his cadets need to know these skills.

“What we want to do is expose them to what actually happens in an event where someone needs to be extracted, some kind of medical event,” said Norris.

For several cadets, this was the first time they got to work in and around a real military aircraft. But this is more than just a training exercise Norris hopes it’ll also encourage cadets to join the Army.

Right now, Norris has 64 cadets, that’s up from 57 last year.

But, according to the Army Times, nationally the army missed it’s 2018 recruitment goal by more than 6,000 soldiers.

“The Army has always evolved. Every century, with war, with every battle, every time, every decade, the Army has to evolve. Technology itself is evolving,” said Norris.

Some cadets, such as Reginald St. Fort, have already committed to joining the Army upon graduation.

“Right now, I’m looking at combat engineer, infantry, probably (military police). (I'm) not sure. Those are my three my top options,” said St. Fort.

Cadet Lt. Col. Troy Krick is encouraging others to become cadets.

“The training is great here. The environment is great. You’re going to meet new friends and do things that you wouldn’t never done,” said Krick.

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