Lt. Colonel Christian Thompson (PMS)
From running the game ball 100 miles from Marquette to Houghton to competing in Ranger Challenge, 2019 has been an amazing year. The good news is, 2020 is guaranteed to be an even better year, as we already have so many events planned.
Working as the Senior Military Instructor has been one of the greatest privileges for me this year. Michigan Tech Cadets work hard, know what they want and won’t stop working until they get it. These Cadets are the type of leaders our Army needs, and I am privileged and honored to work with them every semester.
Yet again, Michigan Tech Cadets performed very well at Cadet Summer Training (CST, Formerly LDAC). We had two Cadets earn the coveted Recondo award, and 7 of our 11 Cadets earned an Excellent rating or higher. Following an outstanding individual performance at CST out of 6,000 Cadets in the U.S., we had the number 8 ranked Cadet in our program, 4th year Mechanical Engineering major, Mark Wallach.
This was the second year of the Husky Alpine Mountain Run fundraiser, a 5k/10k run that traverses up, down and around Mt. Ripley ski areal. This year we were able to add a 10K to the event as well as adding over 2k of scenic running through the historic Quincy mine property. Over 100 people participated this year and I look forward to what our Cadets will do with this event in 2020.
Our Fall FTX was another notable training event for the Cadets in 2019. They got muddy on a confidence course, climbed ropes, balanced on shaky bridges over creeks and conquered their fears at the Ft. McCoy obstacle course. They conducted day and night land navigation courses, shot M4’s at a 300 meter pop up target range, ate MRE’s for three days straight and slept in a patrol base while maintaining 33% security.
A great new development for our program is the approval of a new primary training area for ROTC Cadets. The property next to Tolkien Trails, on the far side of Tech Trails, is the current location for the MTU paintball course, and we have now been approved to use this area for our primary training during leadership labs. This allows the Cadets to have fun (paintball labs!), conduct realistic training and improve their communication, tactics and leadership skills. With this new training opportunity, our Cadets will be more ready than ever for CST and the tactical challenges of an Army career.
As for the Browning family, we have welcomed a new baby to the world, Claire Alysse Browning. Our three-year-old, Luke, has taken up cross country skiing, mountain biking, and hockey. He is truly a Yooper as he loves the cold and prefers to spend most of his time on the ice or outdoors. It’s often hard to get him to wear a coat, as he says, “I like my arms cold!” and our 15-year-old, Skyler, is a member of the Copper Country Ski Tigers (nordic ski team).
All in all, it is so amazing watching these Cadets grow into the leaders of tomorrow and I could not be more grateful to be a small part of their lives. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, ideas, or just want to talk about Michigan Tech.