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For NU Cadets, orientation is no picnic - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

For NU Cadets, orientation is no picnic

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NORTHFIELD, Vt. -

It's move in day for Matthew Russo at Norwich University.

"When I was young, I set my eyes on the military," Russo said.

He is one of 510 freshman in the Corps of Cadets, commonly referred to as Rooks.

"You just gotta live our motto -- I will try. That means you never give up," Gen. Richard Schneider, Norwich University's President, told the cadets.

After being welcomed by the University's leaders, it was time to say goodbye -- seven minutes of hugs, tears and pats on the back.. There will be no contact with family or friends for one week.  And there was no time to remain emotional. The Rooks marched to the Upper Parade to start their training for the Corps of Cadets.

For these Rooks, this will be their lifestyle for the next week, from sunup to sundown.

"You are starting PT right in the morning, followed by rappelling off the 50 foot tower, some military arnis -- which is hand to hand combat, a swim down the Dog River," said Lt. Col. Audrey Seaman.

It's a challenge Matt Russo had mixed feelings about.  "I'm nervous and excited at the same time," he said.

"They will be using this as the foundation for their four years at Norwich -- finding out how to be a leader," Lt. Col. Seaman said.

It's four years that Matthew Russo says he is ready for, to accomplish his goal.  "My dream would be to be an officer in the Marine Corps," he said.

A tough physical start for future leaders of our country's military.

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