Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) chemistry sophomore Cherady Fine recalls parachuting from an airplane for the first time.
“I remember actually shaking hooking up the static line. But after that, I just thought, ‘All right, I’m doing this.’
“You’ve just got to do it, don’t look, just jump,” Fine said.
“It’s definitely an adrenaline rush,” she added. “You look around and it’s one of the most mesmerizing experiences I’ve ever had in my life.”
Fine was one of 12 Austin Peay ROTC students who attended military training schools during the summer. She attended Army Airborne School May 25th-June 15th in Fort Benning, Georgia. Another APSU cadet, Alden Marvin, attended the school July 22nd-August 9th.
“For me, it was my first Army experience,” Fine said. “I’d never been around other Army people or in an Army environment.”
Both Fine and Marvin graduated the school, earning their Airborne patches and pin. Neither had parachuted before, and Marvin never had been in an airplane.
“It’s a cool community to be in, the Airborne community,” Marvin smiled.
Marvin – a criminal justice junior – described the three-week Airborne School this way:
- First week, Ground Week: “This is where you learn the basics where you’re basically jumping off a table into gravel, learning how to distribute weight because you hit the ground pretty hard with a parachute on.”
- Second week, Tower Week: “Working on jumping out of towers (250-foot towers and 34-foot towers).” He said jumpers jump through a mock door, freefalling for a several feet before ziplining to the ground.
- Third week, Jump Week: Students have three daytime jumps and two nighttime jumps, all from airplanes 1,250 feet above the ground.
- For more details about Airborne School, click here.
After students jumped from the planes, they counted to six “and the canopy opens and you look around, looking down and just seeing everything,” Fine said.
Fine’s goals include becoming a commissioned Army officer in chemical or medical services.
“Hopefully Air Assault School is next for me, but I simply strive to continue exceeding my limitations and experiencing more opportunities that will better myself as a future officer,” she said.
Marvin plans to join the Army infantry, specifically an Airborne unit, “hopefully the 82nd Airborne Division.” He also wants to attend Air Assault School.
To Learn More
For more about the Governors Guard ROTC at Austin Peay State University, visit www.apsu.edu/rotc