By: Madison Thompson

FORT KNOX, Ky. – 3rd and 4th Squad Cadets of 2nd Regiment, Advanced Camp, were trained and tested on Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) environments June 7 during Cadet Summer Training (CST). This required training is to educate Cadets on CBRN environments should they arise during deployment.

“It’s important because the current environment that we might be going into, we might face it one day. So, making sure that we’re properly prepared and ready for it is something that, I think, future officers should know when getting ready to lead their troops,” said Cadet Angel Rivas, University of Northern Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The substance 3rd and 4th Squad Cadets would be exposed to CS, Corson Stoughton, gas. Commonly known as tear gas, CS causes several symptoms experienced by most people.

2nd Regiment Advanced Camp Cadets exit the CBRN chamber. Fort Knox, Ky. June 7, 2017. (Photo by Nicholas Bafia)

“A little prickly burning feeling on your skin, kind of feels like a sunburn. A lot of mucus runs out of your nose and heavy coughing, like wheezing because you can’t catch your breath,” explained Rivas.

Before being allowed into the CS chamber, 3rd and 4th Squad Cadets were required to complete several safety lectures as well as being tested on wearing their equipment. To complete the training, Cadets had to secure their gas mask in nine seconds and eight minutes to put their Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology, JSLIST on.

3rd and 4th Squad completed the JSLIST list eight-minute test with 100% success their first time.

CBRN 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp Cadets at CBRN chamber. Fort Knox, Ky. June 7, 2017. (Photo by Nicholas Bafia)

After being tested, the squads rotated to different stations to receive lectures on the CBRN programs in the Army and the different branches within the discipline. Some of the talks included Joint Chemical Agent Detectors (JCAD), the Dismounted Reconnaissance Sets, Kits and Outfits (DR SKO), and the NBCRV Stryker.

Because of their performance during their mask and JSLIST testing, the 3rd and 4th Squads were viewed favorably before going into the chamber.

“I think my fellow Cadets are going to do just great. We’re a tough bunch of Cadets, MS 3’s going in altogether. We can push each other through it and get through it, so I think everybody’s going to do great,” said Rivas.

“I think they’ll do well,” said Sgt. Kenneth Madison, who helped oversee the squads’ safety training.

The 3rd and 4th Squads are made up of individuals from all around the country. Members of the 3rd and 4th Squads are as follows:

  • Michelle Burkett, North Carolina State, Holly Springs, North Carolina
  • Jason Cicada, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Chaffee, Missouri
  • Bailey Fertig, Duquesne University, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Angelina Garland, Norfolk State University, Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Daniel Ijigbamigbe, Kansas State University, Houston, Texas
  • Malachi Maness, Liberty University, Callands, Virginia
  • Julian Nugent, University of Connecticut, Windsor, Connecticut
  • Matthew Richardson, Clemson University, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Andrew Spellacy, Pennsylvania State University Havertown, Pennsylvania
  • Marybeth Villarreal, Texas AM University, Houston Texas
  • Noah Conner, McDaniel College, Hurlock, Maryland
  • Elizabeth Cappella, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Bradford Pennsylvania
  • Jake Johnston, University of Dubuque, Iowa, Marengo, Illinois
  • Stephen Kupchella, Shippensburg University, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • Ryan Mann, New Mexico Military Stu., Smithsburg, Maryland
  • Tana Nixon, Texas Tech University, Amarillo, Texas
  • Angel Rivas, University of Northern Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Brothers and sisters in arms, together, they entered the chamber.

2nd Regiment, Advanced Camp Cadets sing “Happy Birthday” while in the presence of CS gas during CBRN training at Fort Knox, Ky., on June 7, 2017. (Photo by Nicholas Bafia)

Once inside and after completing the sergeant’s directions and removing the mask, the combined squads sang “Happy Birthday” to one of their fellow Cadets. They completed the song before being let out of the CS chamber.

After cleaning their equipment and returning it, many Cadets offered the same word for their experience. “Good.” Cadets who had experienced the chamber before the training on June 7 had one piece of advice for future Cadets.

“Just don’t panic. When you panic, it makes it worse,” advised Bailey Fertig, Duquesne University, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

Cadets from 3rd and 4th Squad of 2nd Regiment, Advanced Camp, will continue developing their skills and knowledge during CST 2017.