Published: Sept. 5, 2013

Getting a glimpse of soldier life

Contact(s): Bill Parker Department of Military Science office: (517) 355-1913, Ext. 227, Ginny Haas Governmental Affairs office: (517) 353-9001, Jennifer Orlando Media Communications office: (517) 353-4355 cell: (517) 980-0076

Through a variety of physical tests and eye-opening displays, the greater Lansing community will get a one-of-a-kind glimpse – and feel – of soldier life.

On Sept. 11, Michigan State University’s Army ROTC and the One Book, One Community program will host Boot Camp 101 – an expo taking place from 6 to 8 p.m. in and around Demonstration Hall, 229 Dem Hall Rd., on MSU’s campus.

This is the first time MSU has held such an event.

The boot camp is part of the programming revolving around this year’s book selection, “The Yellow Birds” by Kevin Powers, which chronicles the many experiences of a young soldier in Iraq.

Ginny Haas, director of community relations at MSU, said the boot camp is a new take on exploring the themes of an OBOC book selection.

“Kevin Powers describes the conditions under which soldiers have to operate in Iraq very well in his novel,” she said. “We were aware that many members of our community had no real concept of the training recruits have to undergo, and the conditions in which they lived while in combat, and thought there would be great interest in learning more about this.”

Such recruit experiences in which the community can take part include a physical fitness station, a one-rope bridge, a tactical equipment experience, a tactical demonstration of entering and clearing a building inside Demonstration Hall, an example of living conditions in a combat zone and more.

MSU Army ROTC cadets and instructors will be in attendance to staff the stations, answer questions and provide safe learning experiences and simulations.

“This event serves as an opportunity to educate the community about the various aspects and benefits of military service to the nation, specifically through the lens of the Army Officer Corps and the Army ROTC program here at MSU,” said Lt. Col. Bill Parker, chairman of the Department of Military Science at MSU. “We hope community members come away with an understanding and appreciation of what our young men and women experience during their military training and service.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the boot camp and more OBOC programming, visit

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