Cadet Summer Training

What’s Comoros? CULP Adventure off the Coast of Africa

When ROTC cadets assigned to U.S Army AFRICOM received their CULP assignment, not one of them had heard of the country where they were to be sent. Little did they know, they would be heading to one of the most beautiful places in Africa that included breath-taking scenery, extremely friendly locals and a culture like most of them had never seen before.

Cadets traveled to Moroni, the capital city of the small, relatively unknown nation of Comoros which is located northwest of Madagascar, from the cadet’s predeployment site in Vicenza, Italy. They were tasked with teaching English to the Comorian Defense Forces. During their time there, cadets familiarized themselves with junior officers, NCOs and junior enlisted, as well as learning about the culture of the nation. Cadets were invited to several outings with the Comorian soldiers and even attended a traditional wedding ceremony.

Cadets at a traditional Comorian wedding ceremony

Cadets at a traditional Comorian wedding ceremony

Cadet Ryan Hayes (Ohio State University) lays on the ground as a soldier conducts an EPW search on him

Cadet Ryan Hayes (Ohio State University) lays on the ground as a soldier conducts an EPW search on him

Using the Ranger Handbook as a resource, the Comorian soldiers learned basic tactical terms that will assist them in communicating with their counterparts in the African Union as they become more involved in activities on an international platform. At the end of the three week session, a graduation ceremony was held for the Comorian soldiers and was attended by their chief of staff and his staff. This experience is sure to prove useful for relations in future operations throughout Africa where the U.S. Army may have to work alongside Comorian forces.

After the cadets had left Comoros and were back in Vicenza, they were asked how the trip had affected them and many replied with the surprising response that it had changed their view on Islam, the majority’s religion on the island.

“The religion of Islam has been sort of made out to be very extremist because of  the places where we’ve been fighting our wars in the past few years and because of the negative experiences we’ve had with a very small part of their population but, after this trip, I’ve seen that the stereotypes against the religion are absolutely wrong. In Comoros, we were welcomed with arms wide open by people who had never met us and already knew they had a  significantly different culture than ours,” said Cadet Matthew McCabe of Lockhaven University.

The ability that the CULP program has to allow cadets to learn about different cultures first-hand will be significant in the relations our future leaders have with other nations and may pave the way to a new system of dealing with foreign relations.

From left to right: Cadets Jesse Mckown (Ohio University), MK Venhuizen (Texas Christian University) and Darryl Grandberry (Howard University) conduct introductions with their class.

From left to right: Cadets Jesse Mckown (Ohio University), MK Venhuizen (Texas Christian University) and Darryl Grandberry (Howard University) conduct introductions with their class

Cadets Jen Graham (Marquette University) and Paolo Bonventre (Florida State University) answer a question about "Be-Know-Do"

Cadets Jen Graham (Marquette University) and Paolo Bonventre (Florida State University) answer a question about “Be-Know-Do”

Cadet Ryan Hayes (Ohio State University) discusses the day's lesson with Comorian soldiers

Cadet Ryan Hayes (Ohio State University) discusses the day’s lesson with Comorian soldiers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cadet Darryl Grandberry (Howard University) explains the importance of communication within a platoon

Cadet Darryl Grandberry (Howard University) explains the importance of communication within a platoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cadet Matthew McCabe (Lockhaven University) supervising his class as they form up into a security circle

Cadet Matthew McCabe (Lockhaven University) supervising his class as they form up into a security circle

Cadet Jen Graham (Marquette University) giving directions to a Comorian soldier while teach how to conduct security

Cadet Jen Graham (Marquette University) giving directions to a Comorian soldier while teach how to conduct security

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cadets Patrick Njeru (Ohio State University) and Chris Counihan (Northern Arizona University) explain bounding movements to their class

Cadets Patrick Njeru (Ohio State University) and Chris Counihan (Northern Arizona University) explain bounding movements to their class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cadets and senior officers standing in formation for a pass-and-review by the Comorian soldiers

Cadets and senior officers standing in formation for a pass-and-review by the Comorian soldiers

 

Cadets learn about the American English program from a Comorian captain

Cadets learn about the American English program from a Comorian captain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cadets Matthew McCabe (Lockhaven University) and Paolo Bonventre (Florida State University) demonstrate how to properly conduct an EPW search

Cadets Matthew McCabe (Lockhaven University) and Paolo Bonventre (Florida State University) demonstrate how to properly conduct an EPW search

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left to right: Cadets Darryl Grandberry (Howard University), Matthew McCabe (Lockhaven University) and MK Venhuizen (Texas Christian University) dance with their Comorian counterparts at a barbeque on the beach

From left to right: Cadets Darryl Grandberry (Howard University), Matthew McCabe (Lockhaven University) and MK Venhuizen (Texas Christian University) dance with their Comorian counterparts at a barbeque on the beach

Cadet Matthew McCabe (Lockhaven University) assigns tasks to the class leadership during an outdoor exercise

Cadet Matthew McCabe (Lockhaven University) assigns tasks to the class leadership during an outdoor exercise

Cadets and Comorian soldiers pose after the graduation ceremony for the soldiers

Cadets and Comorian soldiers pose after their graduation ceremony

Cadet Jesse Mckown (Ohio University) lounges with a Comorian soldier during a beach day

Cadet Jesse Mckown (Ohio University) lounges with a Comorian soldier during a beach day

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