ROTC Units Must Now Conduct Drills With Empty Hands

ROTC Units Must Now Conduct Drills With Empty Hands
photo from guns.comweb photo

For the first time since it began delivering military training at colleges and universities in 1916, the Army's Reserve Officer's Training Corps program (ROTC) has been ordered to tape their inert firearms in high-vis orange and to discontinue the use of the disabled guns during on-campus drills—for safety, according to guns.com.

The overhaul of the training procedures comes after cadet drills, including one at George Mason University, were mistaken for possible active-shooter attacks, reports the Washington Post.

The story notes that last week, Maj. Gen. Christopher P. Hughes ordered all 275 Army ROTC units and 700 other affiliated programs to "use extra precaution during training exercises that involve the use of realistic rifle replicas and furtive movements that could be mistaken for a threat to the community."

The 250 Army ROTC units and 700 affiliates will now conduct on-campus training with simulated weapons (that means they will pantomime carrying firearms with empty hands) while taking extra precaution transporting and storing inert drill rifles, including the application of orange tape.

"Due to the national increase of workplace and campus shootings, our training requires increased coordination, on and off-campus, with appropriate authorities to enhance our safety and minimize misperception by civilian populace or local authorities," Hughes wrote of the new policy.