FORT KNOX, Ky. – The 1st regiment Cadets arrived at the Copple Center on May 26 for in processing, paperwork and assignments for Cadet Summer Training (CST) 2017.

“They go through a series of events where they’re getting their gear inspected, make sure they brought everything, getting their assignments for platoon and company they’re in, getting the stuff they need to live in the barracks, getting barracks assignments, mostly administrative.” Said Master Sgt. Randy Angel.

Cadets in processing, while they waited outside, went through their Cadet handbook, highlighting and putting in sticky notes in the key pages for quick reference. Some Cadets sat quietly and sifted through paperwork. Other Cadets thought about what excites them about CST.

“Probably strengthening my skills and overcoming my weaknesses as a leader. Just really understanding what I’m doing in this program and being able to come back with this training to help the underclassman underneath me.” Said Ellis Stewart, College of Charleston, from Gulfport, Mississippi.

Cadet Summer Training 1st Regiment Advanced Camp Cadet Ellis Stewart, College of Charleston, Gulfport, Miss., completes paperwork during the registration process at the Copple Center at Fort Knox, Ky. on May 26, 2017.
Photo by Nicholas Bafia

Another Cadet is excited about the training itself.

“I guess what I’m looking forward to most in training would be definitely being out in the field for so long. I think we’re doing 20 days out in tent city and it’s definitely going to be interesting. Also the pass/fail aspect of the camp. It’s a lot different than years past.” Said Tom Burcham, University of South Alabama, from Farmington, Missouri.

Cadre are also excited about certain aspects of the upcoming training.

“For the training this summer, I’m definitely looking forward to the land navigation course, I think it’s going to be a challenge for them but it’s going to be exciting. And then the FTX, it’s going to be a grind out there and it’ll be interesting to see how far they can go and how they’re going to lead their character under stressful situations.” Said Angel.

“I’m looking forward to getting in the woods. I’m an artilleryman, I love being outside. It’s going to be good to get out there, run some patrols, talk to some Cadets, that kind of thing.” Said Capt. Noah Switzer, an observer, coach and trainer for CST 2017.

As well as thinking about their training, Cadets consider what they want to demonstrate during their time in CST.

“I guess I’d like to show my fellow Cadets, and not only this year at first regiment but throughout the entire summer, that if you do put your mind to it, if you have a good attitude, it’s going to go by real quick and you’re going to learn things that are going to stick with you throughout your career.” Said Burcham.

“Yeah same thing,” added Carson Foster, University of West Florida, from Ponte Vedra, Florida. “Just try to always try your best and have fun with it. If you do it with a bad attitude, it’s going to last a lot longer.”

1st Regiment Advanced Camp Cadet Justin Hurlburt, Rochester Institute of Technology, West Centercut, N.Y.
Photo by Nicholas Bafia

Cadre members also reflected on their past training and words of advice they want to pass onto Cadets.

“I think that a lot of the Cadets, especially progression Cadets, come in and they don’t realize that they can go ahead and step out on a limb and try something,” said Switzer. “That’s something I didn’t realize as a candidate. I didn’t realize that I could just go ahead and try something. Fail here, this is the place to fail, this is a place to learn, this is the place to make mistakes so you don’t fail when it comes to real operations down the road.”

“If I could teach anything it’d probably be resiliency and the ability to overcome being tired, worn out, maybe a little bit hungry and stuff like that and still be able to get out there, do their thing and be able to lead and be successful,” said Angel. “The biggest thing out here that’s going to help them be successful is to treat people with respect and be a team player. A lot of times when we get hot, we get sweaty, we get a few of bug bites and we get tired, we tend to go after one another. If I could tell the Cadets anything, it’s just to be a good leader, be a good follower, and be respectful.”