Inside 'Dores

Home » Summer » Internship » An Army Summer, Part 1

An Army Summer, Part 1

Nathan Hall

I’m handwriting this post from atop an M1A2 Abrams tank somewhere on Fort Riley, Kansas! It’s been a long time coming (what’s new, Nathan taking too long between posts) and I’m not sure where it’ll end up, but this is effectively my sequel to “42 Days of Summer,” a sort of “What I’ve Done Since That Last Post Ages Ago.”

A picture of me writing this very post?? Atop a tank??? It can't be topped.

My Army summer has consisted of two parts – LDAC, a 29-day training and assessment course at Fort Lewis, Washington, and my current pastime, CTLT (Cadet Troop Leader Training), a three week “training event” that serves as ROTC‘s version of job shadowing. I’m attached at the moment to a Second Lieutenant (a Platoon Leader) learning what the day-to-day schedule looks like for a new officer. For the first week, this was PT in the mornings, different training meetings and spending time in the tank simulators through the afternoon, and being released to hang out a little bit in the evenings before an early bedtime. Sunday morning the schedule took a turn for the epic as we traveled out to “gunnery,” the tanker’s complicated version of a marksmanship range. Four-man tank crews run through different “engagements” and are scored not only on whether they successfully hit targets but on crew procedure and communication. The inside of a tank is a pretty cramped, dangerous and potentially chaotic space, so it’s important for the crews to work together properly and effectively.

Chillin' out, maxin' and relaxin' all cool. On a tank.

While the tanks run through the course, I’m spending time sitting on the ones that are still in the queue, talking to the crew members about their jobs, about the kind of leadership they expect in a Lieutenant, stuff like that. It’s coming on 99F right now, so the weather does make repeated appearances in these conversations; the top of a tank is not the coolest of locations (temperature-wise, that is. It’s pretty cool otherwise). Talking about leadership with the soldiers I’ll end up leading in a few short years (not cool, Time, not cool) has been by far the most valuable piece of this experience. Seeing how a PL works is important and helpful, and getting a lot of experience as far as operating and maintaining a platoon of tanks goes has been a one-of-a-kind summer adventure, but being able to sit with the young men who have signed up to serve their country and hear what they look for and want and need in a leader is incredibly inspiring. It definitely makes me excited to come back to school and develop myself further in my final year!

As far as summer internships go, you’ll hear about quite a few impressive and exciting ones from my fellow writers here at Inside ‘Dores, though I doubt you’ll hear about any quite like mine. It’s a departure from the routine at Vanderbilt, but the summer has been a great chance to test out some of the not-strictly-academic skills I’ve picked up at school. Strong leadership, innovative thinking and working as part of a team are all valuable and important in an ROTC and, in the future, in an Army setting, and are all areas in which I’ve developed at Vandy.

More about CTLT and at least one post about LDAC to follow!

Back Home   

we're talking about

a cappella a-capella Abroad Academics activities admissions admissions office advice alpha chi omega Alternative Spring Break Alumni Alumni Lawn anchor down AOII ASB athenian sing Athletics AXLE Baking BCM bid day Big Brothers Big Sisters Bike biology biomedical engineering Blair Blair School of Music blog Blogging Bluebird Cafe BME Bolivia Books Branscomb break Breakfast brevard Bridgestone arena British Cafe Coco caitlyn's catch-ups California camping campus catch-up chronicles cello Centennial Park Central Library CFHI Chicago child development China choosing a major choosing Vanderbilt christian christmas Circuits class Class of 2016 Class of 2017 class of 2018 Classes Club Soccer Club Sports coffee Cognitive Studies College College Halls College Life college of arts and science college sports Commencement Commodore Cruise Commodore Quake commodores commons Commons Center Commons Cup Commons Dining community competition concert Concerts Cooking Country Music Culture dance dean wcislo decisions derby days Dessert Dining Dinner disney Diversity diwali dorms downtown downtown nashville Early Decision Economics ed sheeran Edinburgh education End of Semester end of the semester engineering English exam exams exercise exploring Extracurriculars fall Fall Break family family weekend fido finals finals week financial aid First Year five days of harry Florida food football founder's walk franklin fraternity free food french freshman Freshman Life Freshman Year Freshmen friends fun GEO goals graduation Greek Life Grins guatemala Halloween Harry Potter Health Care High school hiking hillsboro Hillsboro Village HOD holiday holidays home homecoming Housing houston Human and Organizational Development Ice Cream IFSA-Butler Inside Dores International International Student internship internships Interviews Intramurals james franklin Jeni's job Jobs Kappa Kappa Gamma Kentucky kissam Laundry leadership Libraries library list London major making friends managerial studies marketing Masala-SACE math Mayfield Maymester MCAT meal plan Mechanical Engineering Mechatronics medical school medicine Megabus mellow mushroom melodores Memorial House memories MHS MOSAIC Move Crew Move-In movies Music Music City Music on Campus Nashville Nashville Predators Nashville sports Nashville Symphony Nationals nature neuroscience new semester new york city NYC OACS off campus on campus events on-campus opportunities Orchestra original cast Outdoors Packing pancake pantry Pancakes parent's weekend Parking Peabody performance Performances philosophy physics poetry Poland pre-med procrastination professor professors questions rand Reading Rec Center recruitment redpepper Registration relaxing Religious Life research retreat Rites of Spring Rome roommate ROTC Running rush ryman Schedule School school spirit Scotland season sec Semester senior Senior Year Service shadow shopping sick sigma phi lambda sleep snow soccer social life sororities sorority South Africa speakers SPEAR sports Spring Spring Break Spring Semester Stambaugh stress Student Life student organizations Study Study Abroad Study Break studying Summer Summer Break Sustainability Sweet Cece's Switzerland Taste of Nashville Taylor Swift Tennessee Tests Textbooks thanksgiving Thanksgiving Break The Music Group The Pub The Vanderbilt Hustler theatre Time tour tour guide towers tpac training travel ultimate frisbee undergraduate research University College London University of Edinburgh vacation Valentine's Day Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Admissions vanderbilt athletics vanderbilt football vanderbilt medical center Vanderbilt Programming Board Vanderbilt University Theatre Vanderbilt Visions Vandy Vegetarian Victory A cappella VIDA Visions visiting home volunteer Volunteering VPB vsg VSVS VUcept VUT Weather weekend Why Vanderbilt Wilderness Skills WilSkills winning winter winter break work Writing YES Zanzibar


Recent Posts

Browse by Month