During Cadet Summer Training most people want to see what is going on with the Cadets, but the people who support CST also have stories that need to be shared. Without these volunteers training would not be possible for Cadets.
Cadet Xanthus Manglona from Guam, who is going into his third year of ROTC, volunteered his summer to play opposing forces (OPFOR) for CST.
“We are in the crawl phase for the CST cadets to practice how to conduct their missions and battle drills in order for them to move on towards the real evaluations where they are evaluated,” said Manglona.
He pointed out how important this job is because if Cadets know how to navigate through the field training exercises with enemy forces in a controlled environment it could potentially help them later in their military careers.
As for Manglona, he has big aspirations for his own military career. He hopes to emulate some of the men in his family.
“My great grandfather was a judge,” said Manglona. “One day I hope to be a lawyer. That kind of inspired me to study law but following my dad’s footsteps. I saw that being in the military helped support our family and it really helped him develop himself.”
Guam has some of the highest military enlistment rates within the United States, according to an article published by The Diplomat. Manglona’s father is a captain in the Guam National Guard and he has three older brothers that are enlisted in the Army.
“My family is a big supporter of me coming out here and my dad was the first person to pat me on the back and say have fun and come back in one peace,” said Manglona.
Manglona, who traveled 20 hours to be here, said communicating with his family is challenging because of the 14-hour time difference.
“It is usually my family or parents at home staying up late just to catch some time with me,” said Manglona. “The time difference is hard, but I’m glad they support me in this.”
Although he is here to work OPFOR, he still gets to participate in some of the more exciting activities with the Cadets such as participating in the rappel tower with the 4th Regiment Cadets.
“I didn’t know I had a fear of heights until coming here,” said Manglona. “Just going on that tower my knees are already getting weak and shaky. I can’t imagine doing this anymore than I need to.”