Rappelling and the Leadership Reactionary Course at West Point
By Cadet/2LT Kyle Thompson
On Thursday, 21 September 2017, Washingtonville High School’s JROTC program went on their annual rappelling trip. Washingtonville cadets rappelled alongside Minisink Valley, Valley Central, and NFA cadets throughout the day. Before rappelling, the cadets conducted the Leadership Reactionary Course, also known as LRC. This course is a variety of different obstacles that require problem solving among the team and its team leader. These stations require the teams to work together and figure how to get all the equipment and cadets from the start of the obstacle to the end in a given time period. The cadets always love the LRC and after spending the first half of the day there, they take the busses to the rappel tower and try their hand at rappelling. The cadets are briefed on the safety procedures of rappelling and then pair up to put on their safety harnesses. Afterwards, the cadets are thoroughly checked and are then able to go down the training wall; which is short and at an angle so that the cadets can learn the procedure of rappelling. After the cadets feel comfortable on the training wall they move on the full size wall, which is a straight 50-foot wall. The cadets are nervous at first, but their Army Instructor, Chief Brickel, assures them at the top of wall that they will be fine and patiently talks them down the wall. Once they go down the first time they can’t wait for more. After each rappel, the cadets tell one of the senior cadets that they have gone down and if they can manage to go down three times, they receive a ribbon to proudly wear on their uniform. The cadets had a great time and are already looking forwards to next year’s trip.