ROTC cadets gain life-changing experiences around the world


Eight years from 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 provide unique three to four week experiences where cadets serve in leadership positions at the lieutenant level 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 leads the Army ROTC at the University of Ohio. “I am always thrilled to hear their stories and see the passion ignited for the leadership profession they are about to embark on.”

Carissa Nickell, a psychology student at the College of Arts and Sciences, served in Fort Stewart, Georgia, as an intern in the Department of Army Medicine at Winn Army Community Hospital, a small hospital for active-duty service members , their dependents and military retirees. . She has completed rotations in Pediatrics, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Labor and Delivery, and the Postpartum Mother-Baby Unit. Nickell learned to draw patient labs, draw blood, read and interpret all labor and delivery monitors, and assist with natural deliveries.

Carissa Nickel

“There was a culture of respect and it was really about learning. All the nurses and providers 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 really helped us make sure we were learning and doing rotations in the hospital, which would kind of help us figure out what we wanted to pursue after undergraduate.”

Nickell said the highlight of her experience was in the labor and delivery and postpartum units. Nickell has attended more than 10 deliveries, undergone cesarean section and was able to hold newborn babies and take their vital signs. She bonded with other cadets from across the country and learned from nurses and providers with extensive military and civilian experience. This experience led Nickell to realize her passion for nursing, specifically labor and delivery and midwifery. She now plans to pursue a Masters in Nursing to become a Certified Nurse Midwife/Certified Nurse Practitioner.

Richard Danylo, a graduate in chemical engineering and computer science from the Russ College of Engineering and Technolgoy, traveled to Germany. He plans to enroll in medical school next fall, so he’s been following doctors to better understand the lifestyle of army medics. He met around 40 doctors and visited 10 different clinics to explore several medical specialties. He underwent more than 10 surgeries, which was a unique experience for an undergraduate student. Army doctors advised him to apply to medical school and let him use their medical libraries to conduct research.

Danylo described participating in shoulder repair surgery.

“The doctor made me retract the skin…and it was probably like a two hour surgery. I didn’t know that but apparently it’s a rite of passage that a lot of people, when they start doing surgical rotations in med school, (they) get to the point where they might pass out, they start sweating because they’re tired of doing such heavy work,” Danylo said. doctors in the room saw me sweating, but I made sure not to say anything.Then they had congratulations for me…because I was now inducted into 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 at 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 training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was attached to Charlie Company in the 1-214 General Support Aviation Battalion. In Army Aviation, Charlie Company in each battalion is the Medical Evacuation Detachment (MEDEVAC), so the pilots focused on rescue missions. Frimel learned topics such as helicopter aerodynamics and the most efficient way to manage army personnel.

“I was able to build effective relationships with almost everyone there,” Frimel said. “From pilots to mechanics, the experience showed me what an effective army officer was like. Plus, I got to fly in a…Blackhawk, which was, by far, one of the experiences the coolest of my life.

Management information systems specialist Luke Hinesley also traveled to Fort Knox, Kentucky, and then to Germany. He followed a lieutenant from the Second Cavalry Regiment and learned what officers from different branches of the military do. Hinesley hopes to become a platoon leader after commissioning as an Army officer. His favorite experiment this summer was detonating 30 pounds of C-4.

Other OHIO ROTC cadets who completed internships and training this summer were Will Dunning, who traveled to South Korea for air defense artillery training; Chance King, who participated in explosive drills with an infantry/mortar platoon in Kentucky; Collin Brown, who learned to skydive from a helicopter during airborne training in Georgia; and Ander Wehner, who participated in Project Go, a cultural and linguistic immersion program in Taiwan.


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