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Summer Training

Basic Camp

Many current college students feel like they ‘missed’ their opportunity to join ROTC. Basic Camp is a way for current college students to begin participating in our program as late as their Junior year. Basic Camp is a four week course that will develop your leadership skills, and allow you immediate entry into the ROTC Advanced Course.

Basic Camp is divided into three phases: Soldier First, Warrior Leader, and Bold Leader. The Soldier First phase will immerse you in the Army lifestyle as you learn the basic soldier skills necessary for you to complete the course. Developing teamwork is a big part of this phase, and the precursor to any training in leadership. The Warrior Leader Phase will begin your training in field skills.
Training will include topics such as marksmanship, orienteering, rappelling and water survival. During the Bold Leader phase you will begin to lead your team through practical exercises. Basic Camp is open to college students that are not currently enrolled in ROTC, as well as ROTC cadets that joined the program sometime during the middle of their freshman, sophomore, or junior year.

Click the following link to get more information regarding Basic Camp.


Cadets in the 6th regiment of Basic Camp test their critical thinking abilities on the Field Leaders Reaction Course

Advanced Camp

Taken in the summer between your junior and senior years of ROTC, this four week course is designed to evaluate leadership, basic soldier skills, and critical problem solving under stress. The course takes place in Fort Knox, KY, offering a good change of scenery for Cornell cadets with different forms of wildlife and a much warmer climate. Cadets must be contracted in order to attend and the course is required in order to obtain a commission after graduation. Cadets are paid at a rate of about $1,100 for the month. Over the course of the 30 days, cadets will receive numerous classes and briefs that discuss typical Army life. They will also spend nearly 15 of the 30 days in the field in simulated combat conditions. The Advanced Camp field problem is the culminating event for ROTC cadets where everything they have learned is put to the test and evaluated. Cadets leave advanced camp ready to lead their battalions for the next academic year and graduates of the course will have finished one of the last requirements to commission!


A cadet at Advanced Camp briefs his squad in preparation for a mission in the field.

Cadet Troop Leader Training and Drill Cadet Leader Training

Cadet Troop Leader Training and Drill Cadet Leader Training are three and four weeks respectively. Each of these internship opportunities offers our students the ability to work closely with a current Army Officer. Our Cadets have participated in these internships with a wide array of units throughout the Army including Initial Entry Training, Signal Corps, Combat Engineers, Aviators and Special Forces. These internships can involve airborne operations and overseas travel.

These internships allow students to see what everyday life is like in the Army as well as learn valuable skills, which will help them with their career following graduation. CTLT/DCLT internships are available to students as a follow-on assignment from Advanced Camp. Cadets can work with units all around the world and it offers them a great opportunity for some immersion into the Army culture or even foreign cultures.

An excelsior battalion cadet helps lieutenants from the 4-25th ID airborne engineers create a cratering charge during CTLT in Anchorage, Alaska

Airborne School

Every year the Excelsior Battalion sends one cadet to the US Army Airborne School in Fort Benning, GA. Cadets that are lucky enough to get sent will experience three weeks of adrenaline-pumping training as cadets, soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen from all across the US Military and sometimes even the world learn how to jump out of high performance aircraft in order to accomplish the mission.

The course is broken into three weeks: Ground Week, Tower Week, and Jump Week. During Ground week, students learn about the capabilities of different parachute systems as well as the aircraft that carry paratroopers into battle. Students also learn how to exit the aircraft with proper body position and are tested in their exited capabilities by jumping out of 34-foot towers. This is the first test of a students ability to overcome a fear of heights.

During Tower week, students learn how to land safely using the Parachute Landing Fall, or PLF. Students are given progressively harder tests the culminate with the Swing-Landing Trainer. Students also learn how to conduct parachute recovery as well as what different types of parachute malfunctions look like. The week is finished with a fall from a 250-foot tower, testing students ability to maneuver their parachute and land safely.

Jump week is the most exciting part of the course. Over the next four days, students must conduct five parachute jumps from either a C-130 Hercules or a C-17 Globemaster aircraft. The mornings start very early, but the opportunity to float in the skies of Fryar Drop Zone in Alabama is worth every bit of the struggle. At the end of the five weeks, students are awarded their airborne wings, making each student a member of the historical and well-respected airborne paratroopers.

Soldiers of airborne school make a combat equipment drop above Fryar DZ in Alabama,

Soldiers of airborne school make a combat equipment drop above Fryar DZ in Alabama,

Air Assault School

In addition to the opportunity to attend Airborne School, cadets of Excelsior battalion also have the unique opportunity to attend Air Assault School at either Fort Campbell, KY or Fort Drum, NY. Air Assault is described as being the hardest ten days of the Army and the school is designed to train students to be proficient in air assault operations by helicopter.

Entry into the school requires the notoriously grueling Day Zero. During Day Zero, students must pass a rigorous equipment layout, pass an obstacle course, and survive hours of physical exercise to ensure that the students are physically and mentally prepared to take the course. After passing Day Zero, students are finally admitted to the school.

The school is broken down into three phases: Combat Assault Phase, Sling load Phase, and Rappel Phase. During combat assault phase, students learn about the capabilities of the Army’s helicopters. They learn a little bit about pathfinder operations and how flight plans are created. The phase only lasts three days and is completed with a written exam.

During sling load phase, students learn how to attach different loads to the bottom of aircraft safely. Students learn the capabilities of the different equipment before then being allowed to familiarize themselves with sling load sets. After familiarization, students are given a chance to practice running through sling load inspections of different rigs. The phase ends with two forms of testing; hands-on and written. The hands-on test occurs at the end of the first week and is responsible for dropping most of the Air Assault candidates because of its extreme difficulty. Students that are able to pass the hands-on sling load inspections and the written test are able to move onto the final phase of air assault school.

The rappel phase of air assault school allows students to overcome fears and become proficient in gracefully exiting a helicopter. Students are tested on tying a Swiss Seat which is nothing more than a piece of rope that’s used to securely attach a person to the safety rope. Students then practice rappelling down the wall side of a 100-ft tower as well as the open side; practicing Hollywood rappels, lock-ins, and combat equipment rappels. At the end of phase three, students are given the chance to rappel from a helicopter to affirm their skills in rappelling.

Before graduating, students must complete a 12-mile ruck march on the day of graduation. This is done with a 35 pound ruck sack and must be completed in less than three hours. After completing the ruck march, students are finally awarded their air assault wings, thus bringing an end to ten days of incredibly difficult training.

Three Excelsior Battalion members pose in front of a UH-60 Blackhawk as a stick of air assault candidates rappel from the helicopter.

Three Excelsior Battalion members pose in front of a UH-60 Blackhawk as a stick of air assault candidates rappel from the helicopter.


Army ROTC has a number of paid summer internships for current and prospective Cadets. These are an excellent way to prepare yourself professionally for a career with the Army. Many of these internships are available through Project GO which can even allow cadets to study a foreign language at a different university around the globe for college credit on the Army’s dime.

For more information on Research and Specialty internships or Degree Based internships please click here. For information about getting the Army to pay for your study of a foreign language via Project GO, click here.

Project Global Officer (GO) supports the study of many different languages and gives students the opportunity to travel throughout the world to study them.

Project Global Officer (GO) supports the study of many different languages and gives students the opportunity to travel throughout the world to study them.