ROTC CWST and other acronyms

I woke up at 4:40 a.m. on Friday morning. Who am I?

Getting up bright and early isn't exactly a college student's favorite past time, but the Army ROTC students do it almost every day. With PT (physical training) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and incentive PT for those who didn't pass their PT test on Mondays and Fridays, there are lots of early mornings for ROTC students.

Both my sister, Annie, and my boyfriend, Tyler, are in ROTC. Not only are two of my favorite people cadets, but I feel like practically everyone around me is in the army. My parents, who were both officers, met in the Army before they were married and my uncle was a lieutenant colonel and spent a lot of time in Somalia. My best friend, Samantha Moore, is an army wife and her husband just graduated from West Point. They are currently spending a short time at Fort Knox in Kentucky while her husband, J.D., goes through BOLC (Basic Office Leaders Course).

So, what I'm saying is, I get to hear about the army a lot. And with Tyler and Annie, I get to hear about them complain about PT a lot, whether it's 8-mile ruck marches or the blisters their boots give them.

Last year, Tyler went through CWST (Combat Water Survival Training) for ROTC. For CWST, the cadets go to the Student Recreation Complex at MU and train in the water. They jump off the high dive blindfolded with their rifles, have to tread water for 10 minutes, swim with their rifles, etc. I was intrigued by this event after he told me about it and began to look forward to the next year so I could be able to shoot it.

So, I did. Which is why I woke up at 4:40 a.m. to take pictures. And, as much as I love sleep, coffee works too. And it was worth it.

Grant Hindsley also shot the event. Grant did a lot of work with the Army ROTC program last year for a project for his Fundamentals of Photojournalism class. Grant also had the opportunity to shoot underwater because he built some really awesome underwater housing with a plastic fish tank.

Because I have an interest in war photography, I've been trying to shoot more events that involve the military. Obviously, CWST is absolutely nothing compared to Iraq, I really enjoy working with the military and hope to continue to do so, whether it's in a foreign country or on base or in ROTC.

Grant and I also shot a farewell ceremony for a National Guard troop leaving for Iraq for Operation New Dawn on Friday. More pictures to come.

All photographs copyright © Katie Currid 2010. All rights reserved.