A Moldova military experience: By Cadet Brendan Grace
This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Moldova with the Reserve Officer Training Corps Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency program. We taught conversational English to Moldavians, answered questions about ourselves and American culture, and experienced a few educational moments of our own.
My favorite day was when we went to the only Special Forces unit in Moldova. It started off with an impressive PowerPoint about what the Special Forces unit does and how they train. After the PowerPoint we went out to the training site where some American Special Forces Soldiers were instructing the Moldovans on tactics and techniques. The point of this was to give select MSF soldiers training and proficiency in their fields so they can properly train future Moldovan soldiers. We were able to witness some MSF soldiers under the guidance of the American Special Forces Soldiers mentoring them in their occupational specialties such as medical procedures, communication methods, and weapons techniques. The Americans kept emphasizing how smart the Moldovans are and how quick they pick up on the things they are being taught.
After a few more demonstrations we were able to witness them shooting their weapons on the range. Each of our Cadets was able to fire an RPK light machine gun at small targets. This was the favorite part of most of the cadets’ trips. The MSF commander was a great guy and you could tell he was proud of the unit he led. I saw a lot of potential in this already impressive unit. Time will make them a more effective fighting force.
It amazed me how many American Soldiers were in Moldova, a country that I had never heard about before this trip. It was great to see people from two different parts of the world interacting and teaching each other about their army and their different training styles. The Americans will do wonders for the Special Forces unit in the future. They give them information and training necessary to be the best they can be. Every American Soldier we talked to said they picked up some tips and different ways of doing things from their Moldovan counterparts.
The biggest message I learned from this specific trip is how important it is to build bonds and good relationships around the world.