Cadet Summer Training ROTC (CST) Tips & Tricks – Knowing

This is #4 (not in order of importance) of Tips & Tricks needed for SUCCESS at CST.  Over the coming weeks I will post several idea’s to think about.  Follow the page, share it with your fellow Cadets or Cadre.


Planning considerations.

Tips from Ranger School (in quotes).

       “Everyone must know the black and gold plan- distance, direction, and terrain feature. Everyone must also know the location of your alternate patrol base, know their own sectors of fire, know the challenge and password, running password, number combination, and their current location, (and be able to identify it on a map). Finally, they must know the current mission statement and if they are on special teams.”

1. What is a Black & Gold Plan? Let’s face it, if you don’t know you should! Look it up in the Ranger Handbook, TC 3-21.76.

BTW, did you KNOW that you can get resources like that from

“Know how to conduct a water resupply”

2. This is your call (the PSG usually) best method with canteens is usually to collect the empty canteens in an empty ruck and take a team to the water source. Fill the canteens and return/distribute. Make sure all returned know if the water is pure, if it needs tablets, etc. Is that going to happen at CST? Probably not, especially with COVID. Plan on sending individuals to top off their own water. KNOW how to build that into your plan.

“Initiate raids with the support-by-fire.”

3. Doctrine says the PL initiates; that could mean a call on the radio to the Support by Fire (SBF) from the ASLT position. Let the Weapons Squad Leader (WSL also known as Weasel) take the first shot. Never initiate with an open bolt weapon (M249 or M240). You can also initiate with Indirect Fire! If that is, your Cadre allow it, and you know how to call it!

“Conduct rehearsals- do it. Focus on actions on the objective, LDA crossings, and any mission essential tasks (such as conducting breach of a mined wire obstacle) unique to your specific mission. React to contact from various directions is also valuable.”

4. KNOWing the Battle Drills are literally life savers. 

TC 3-21.76

8-1 React to Direct Fire Contact
8-5 Conduct a Platoon Assault
8-18 React to Ambush (Near)
8-21 React to Indirect Fire

5. What is a MASCAL Plan?

Mass Casualty. What do you do if on your mission as a PL at CST, you go for a layup and the enemy wins!?!  Have a plan. That’s what. KNOW what you want to have happen if you take more than 4 casualties. How are you going to break contact? How are you going to move them? Where are you going to move them to? Where is the closest place I could notionally land a helicopter?

I can’t answer any of this. YOU have to plan, you have to KNOW your problems and options to counter them.

Knowing is half the battle!


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