Clarkson University ROTC cadets get Chinook ride to Fort Drum

Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 3:54 PM EDT
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POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - Thursday morning, Army cadets with Clarkson University’s ROTC program loaded onto a Chinook helicopter.

“I was originally in the Air Force ROTC program and I ended up switching over to the Army program. Within three weeks, I got to ride on a Blackhawk helicopter at St. Lawrence University and now here I am on a Chinook. It’s amazing the opportunities you can get here,” said MS-III Cadet Ian Poules, Clarkson ROTC.

More than 32 ROTC cadets are on this Chinook helicopter. They’ll fly from Clarkson University to Fort Drum where they’ll have a weekend of training.

Before taking off from Potsdam, Clarkson students and faculty got to check out the Chinook.

“I think one of the big takeaways from today is working with the university and getting all the students and faculty involved. We did invite the aerospace engineers, so some of these students out here have studied this aircraft in the past. But it’s always good for both the university and our program for recruiting and retention just to be visible,” said Lieutenant Colonel Tobias Clark, professor of military science at Clarkson University.

The cadets feel having such a public event like this helps show the public what the cadets do.

“We’ll walk around throughout the week in our uniforms and a lot of people don’t understand the things we do or the things we get to do. So to get to actually show them the inside, the inner workings, things they might not get to see on a daily basis might inspire someone else to join up or to try and find a way that they can give back,” said Poules.

In 2019, the cadets were taken from Potsdam to Fort Drum in a Blackhawk helicopter.