HONOLULU, Hawaii — Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear subject matter experts from the 71st Chemical Company ‘Dragon Fire,’ 303rd Ordnance Disposal Battalion (EOD), 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command shared their CBRN expertise with University of Hawaii Army ROTC at Manoa cadets April 19, here.
After receiving lessons on the basic components of the M50 Joint Service General Purpose Mask and the Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST), as well as hands-on demonstrations, the UH ROTC cadets tested their own CBRN skills as they each attempted to properly don and clear the M50 mask.
Similar to the cowboys of the Old West with their pistol belts strapped to their waists, four cadets stand side by side before their classmates. With their M50 masks tucked away inside the carriers and secured snuggly to their outer thighs, the cadets anxiously await for the signal.
“Gas! Gas! Gas!”
Quickly, the cadets begin to go through the eleven steps of donning and clearing their masks in the standard nine seconds allowed. However, in their rush they miss some of the steps and sadly, the first four cadets fail. Begrudgingly, the first group of cadets hand off the masks to the next four competitors, who eagerly step forward for their turn.
Once the CBRN class has concluded, the UH ROTC cadets offered their feedback during an after action review (AAR).
The cadets commented that having the hands-on training and competition was great, and it made remembering the material easier.
However, the cadets were not the only ones to enjoy the class. Having a passion for his work and being able to reach out to the community to share his expertise, Pvt. Evan Darmody, a CBRN Soldier and one of the instructors for the class, said he was happy to have the opportunity to pass on some of his knowledge to the cadets.
“I get the reward of being able to teach the future leaders of our Army a very integral part of what they are going to have to do when they have to lead troops in the future,” said Darmody.
As an Assistant Professor of Military Science at UH ROTC, Capt. Rusty Palmore, said he was very pleased to have the CBRN SMEs available to teach the class.
“The cadets are getting ready to go to summer training and CBRN is an integral part of the training. All the cadre here love giving the cadets the best training possible. We don’t have the resources here at UH ROTC to perform this type of training so, we reached out,” said Palmore.
Palmore added, “I can get up there and read slides, but they [CBRN SMEs] do a way better job than I do teaching the class and I believe it lends more creditability if it’s coming from the subject matter experts.”
As a former cadet battalion commander and graduate of UH ROTC, 2nd Lt. Katrian Dela Cruz, now a CBRN officer with 71st Chemical Co., said she was excited to be back at UH ROTC.
“I’m a product of UH ROTC, so being able to give back to the cadets has been great,” said Dela Cruz.
“It’s always great to see a familiar face out there doing good things,” said Palmore about Dela Cruz’s return and volunteering to teach the CBRN class.
Dela Cruz and her CBRN team said they are looking forward to future engagements and being able to continue the relationship with UH ROTC.
Darmody added, “First and foremost, it’s about community outreach.”