SuperLab #1 – OPORDs, Land Navigation

For the first time ever, Seneca Battalion conducted a SuperLab – an intensive seven hour event focused on mastering essential skills taught during the normal ROTC lab.

Cadets move towards the RV (Rendezvous) point during the SuperLab in order to link up with friendly forces and conduct a key leader engagement.
Cadets move towards the RV (Rendezvous) point during the SuperLab in order to link up with friendly forces and conduct a key leader engagement.

A SuperLab is designed to enhance the skills that cadets have already been taught but do not have the time to perfect in the weekly Military Science lab.  Many skills that take days or weeks to teach in Basic Training for enlisted soldiers are covered once or twice in the two hour training labs for ROTC cadets.  This lack of time forces cadets to quickly master the skills needed to function as a 2nd Lt. and leaves little room for error.

The first SuperLab covered Operations Orders, or OPORDs, and Land Navigation.  An OPORD is the standardized format through which an Army officer issues instructions on how to complete a mission.  It is very in depth and requires strict adherence to the format to avoid confusion.  MS III cadets received classroom instruction from cadre while MS II and MS I cadets received instruction from MS IV cadets.

Land Navigation is an essential skill that requires several hours of practice.  Cadets previously learned the basics of land nav in the classroom and had the opportunity to go out and find three points in the woods surrounding the St. Bonaventure campus.  Allotted an hour and a half, MS III cadets went out alone and MS II and MS I cadets went out in pairs.

The final event of the SuperLab was a culminating exercise that focused on land nav and unit movement.  The Battalion broke into two squad sized elements and moved towards different objectives, utilizing several of the different formations learned in previous labs.  Once they arrived in their positions they were redirected to a Rendezvous  Point at which they were supposed to conduct a Key Leader engagement, a common mission undergone by American troops today.

All of this is in preparation for the Battalion’s fall Field Training Exercise, where cadets will spend two days in a simulated combat environment.

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