Kinesiology students assist with ROTC cadet fitness training

May 16 2013
Judi LaBranche

Students in the Department of Kinesiology provided free fitness training for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets across the Five College system. The program, implemented by Kinesiology lecturer Judi LaBranche, proved to be a tremendous benefit to student trainers and trainees alike.

Eva Gleason, a senior Kinesiology major and Captain in the Air Force ROTC, first approached LaBranche to see if the department could provide individualized training for cadets who had initially failed their Physical Fitness Tests (PT). Cadets must achieve passing PT scores in order to be promoted within the ROTC, and some cadets found that achieving these scores was problematic.

LaBranche recognized the benefit not only to the cadets, but to her student interns. She took applications from highly motivated Kinesiology majors looking for opportunities to work with people. The program provided her students with program design experience and independent study credits.

Photo: Kinesiology student Katy Kubiak assists an ROTC cadet.

LaBranche and Gleason instituted the pilot program this past fall, matching four Kinesiology students with four cadets for individualized training sessions. The fitness programs ranged from general fitness and conditioning to strength training to conditioning workouts based on the needs of the individual cadets and to meet their PT goals. Four cadets signed up for the one-on-one training sessions; they had a 100% pass ratio on their PT re-tests.

LaBranche and Gleason expanded on that program for the spring semester, inviting not only Air Force ROTC cadets but Army ROTC cadets as well. A dozen cadets decided to take advantage of the training, and they were matched with five Kinesiology student trainers.

“What I like about this program is that it’s very student-driven,” commented LaBranche. “Eva’s an ROTC team leader, and she’s helping to motivate her fellow cadets. Plus, it’s a great learning opportunity for our students, giving them a chance to put skills learned in the classroom into practice for the benefit of our ROTC program.”

“Eva has already assisted us in setting up a contact for next year. We look forward to continuing to provide this training program in the coming years,” LaBranche added. “It is a tremendous service to our students both in Kinesiology and ROTC.”