University ROTC student takes leap toward her future

University of Nevada, Reno ROTC cadet graduates from U.S. Army Airborne School

7/1/2014 | By: Robert Park  |

Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door. Jump right out and count to four. This cadence, sung by soldiers throughout the Army, is about an airborne jump into combat. Many soldiers aspire to become a paratrooper; however, before they can be assigned to an airborne unit, they must complete a class at the U.S. Army Airborne School.

The rigorous three-week school consists of three different phases. During the initial phase, known as ground week, soldiers learn how to properly conduct a parachute landing fall, or PLF, by jumping off of increasingly larger platforms. The following week, known as tower week, soldiers demonstrate that they can properly conduct the necessary parachute checks after exiting the aircraft by attaching themselves to a zip-line and jumping out of a 34-foot tall tower. Additionally, soldiers are further familiarized with the PLF by strapping into a parachute before being dropped from a 250-foot-tall tower.

The cumulating event of the course is jump week, during which soldiers conduct five jumps from 1,200 feet. Three jumps are conducted during the day, and two are conducted at night. Soldiers must successfully complete all five jumps and a four mile run in order to be pinned with the coveted airborne badge.

University ROTC Cadet Rachel Geldert earned her badge last month. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, she competed against 43 other contracted cadets from the program. Cadet Geldert was selected for her high grade-point average, level of physical fitness and constant dedication she has shown to the program and to her fellow cadets.

Geldert, originally from Sparks, Nev., graduated from Spanish Springs High School, where she participated in JROTC as the battalion commander her senior year. She was awarded an Army ROTC four-year scholarship in high school, which she is currently using to pursue an education in the Orvis School of Nursing. Geldert will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and Army nurse May 2017. As a graduate of Airborne School, she will be eligible to serve in an airborne unit.

The University of Nevada, Reno Army ROTC Program has been on the University since 1916 and fosters critical thinking, fitness, camaraderie, and leadership training. More than 272 institutions throughout the country have training programs similar to the University's, and collectively, they commission more than 6,000 Second Lieutenants a year.


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