The Rochester NROTC took first place at the Cornell University Invitational Drill Competition (CUIDC) in mid-November for the second year in a row.

Made up of students from UR, RIT, St. John Fisher, and SUNY Brockport, the Rochester Battalion won overall in both the drill and Military Excellence (MEC) portions of the event. Although not the biggest battalion, Rochester was able to beat out highly-qualified opponents from both the United States Army and Naval Academies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Villanova University, Norwich University, and Cornell University.

“We’re consistently competing at a high level,” Sophomore Communications CPO and Midshipman Arion Karimi said.

Athletic events include swim sprints, distance and relay running, and an “Iron Man” event involving swimming, running, pull-ups, push ups, and crunches. The drill portion involved platoon tricks, color guard, and other marching events.

“Our Battalion has always been known for its superior athletic ability, and it shines every year at these military excellence competitions,” RIT junior and Drill and Military Excellence Competition Officer in Charge Tim Cooper said.

“When you go to Cornell, school doesn’t really follow you, so you’re just [focused on the idea that] you’re a battalion getting ready to all compete together,” Karimi added.

Rochester’s NROTC unit’s training regimen remains consistent and rigorous, regardless of whether it is training for competition. “We try not to change what we do too much because it’s pretty much a winning formula,” Senior and Battalion Commander Josh Nysembaum said.

Beginning even before the start of the school year, the battalion trains each morning at 5:45, in addition drill instruction two days a week, physical training (PT) two days a week, and options for those intending to join the Marines once a week.

“We could always go up to our [Commanding Officer] and say ‘we don’t want to do that, we want to focus on our academics more’ and [he’d] 100% support that,” Nysenbaum said. “But everyone in the battalion really wants to train hard so that we can be the best we can be.”

Over 50 members of Rochester NROTC participated in CUIDC, and nearly all members of the unit attended to support as well. Participation is not limited to upperclassmen; in fact, freshmen are integral to the success of the unit. Unlike all the other competing units, Rochester NROTC has a “freshman only” platoon, a series of three rows of people with a minimum of four people per row, that competes against far more experienced midshipmen.

CIUDC is only one of two large regional competitions in which the Rochester unit takes part. In April, Villanova holds an event that is even larger than Cornell’s.

“It’s one of the things that we work towards, but ultimately we’re trying to develop each other as officers for the Navy and Marine corps,” Nysenbaum said. “Academics come first because they have to graduate so they become officers, otherwise they won’t be [successful out] there.”

A selection of Rochester NROTC’s collection of over 100 trophies will be displayed in Wilson Commons at the beginning of next semester.

Douglas is a member of 

the class of 2017.

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