CFOT halts normal schedule during COVID-19 crisis

Cadets will be on duty for Emergency Disaster Services in California South Division.

Western Territorial Commander Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder announced March 16 that the College for Officer Training at Crestmont (CFOT) will cease its normal schedule to allow cadets to assist with California South Division’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) during the COVID-19 crisis.

The College is currently working on the details of the cadets’ participation with California South Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel John Chamness and California South EDS Director Nicholas Nguyen.

Chamness said it will take a few days to get this going.

“We are very happy for the cadets’ help and will need this,” he said, adding that the Riverside Corps is looking into starting a disaster shelter. If this occurs, the cadets could be asked to help set it up.

“We will do what is needed,” said CFOT Principal Major Nigel Cross.

Earlier, as a precaution, CFOT had already made the decision to cancel its annual Spring Blitz weekend, when cadets leave campus to serve in the field. They had been scheduled to travel to Santa Clara, California, one of the early epicenters of COVID-19.

“The cadets were extremely disappointed; however, due to what is happening currently the right decision was made,” Cross said.

Cadets had also planned to attend the now-canceled National Advisory Organizations Conference, originally scheduled for April 21–25. Its cancellation gives the college a week’s buffer, allowing cadets to serve where needed during the crisis.

CFOT staff, cadets and employees met March 13 to develop a plan— considering various scenarios—on how to proceed in the event anyone on campus contracts the virus.

Cross said the Accrediting Commission for Community and Jr. Colleges has proactively approved colleges to teach remotely and to shorten the academic year if needed.



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