Cadets take part in MIAD assessments to qualify for summer training

Capt. Geoffrey Ross Department of Military Instruction

December 6th, 2018 | News, News and Features

On Sept. 25, Oct. 12 and Oct. 26, cadets conducted competitive Military Individual Advanced Development (MIAD) assessments across West Point. This year was the pilot of a new assessment and selection program run by the Department of Military Instruction (DMI) in which cadets compete for the opportunity to join the training populations for the Sapper Leader Course (SLC); the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape course (SERE); and the Combat Diver Qualification Course.
Cadets endured up to seven hours of grueling mental and physical tests designed to challenge their physical and mental strength, dexterity and endurance.  These events provided the data needed to identify the most capable, qualified and motivated cadets to join the MIAD training populations.
The SLC assessment occurred on Sept. 28 and Oct. 12. Cadets executed an arduous 12-mile ruck march as part of the assessment. Deviating from common “easy” courses on West Point, SLC hopefuls moved from the Plain, to South Dock and up to the Child Development Center on Stoney with a 45 pound ruck – twice. The fastest cadet clocked a time of 2:03, an enviable feat on a flat 12-mile ruck course. Of the 109 cadets who began the assessment, only 59 finished within the three hours standard.
The SERE assessment also took place  Sept. 28 and Oct. 12. Cadets were challenged mentally and physically for six hours with many digging deep to find the inner strength to push on. Of the 56 cadets who volunteered to come out to the SERE assessment, only 18 successfully passed all the physical and mental tests.
The CDQC assessment was conducted on Sept. 28 and Oct. 26. Beginning with a Ranger Physical Assessment (RPA), cadets moved to Arvin Gym where they demonstrated comfort, confidence and skill in varying depths of water. Following six hours of physical strain, cadets conducted interviews to assess their maturity and recall of skills taught hours before. Of 48 cadets who started the RPA, 23 demonstrated the skill and motivation to be considered for the final cut.
SLC, SERE and CDQC are the most challenging MIADs cadets can attend. To find the best, the assessments had to be tough – 213 cadets stepped forward and began the assessments, only 100 completed them. Of these 100, only 50 will be asked to train with the MIADs next semester, volunteering to be tested multiple times until that number is reduced to the final school attendees.