FORT KNOX, Ky.- Advanced Camp 1st Regiment took a leap of faith and descended down a 64-foot rappel tower, June 21, as they have four days left of their Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky.
Cadets are required to rappel down both sides, wall and no wall, to graduate. The rappel tower is the first half of the confidence mission; the other half is the obstacle course. “It’s designed to have the Cadets overcome their fear of heights,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Yocom.
The rappel tower is all about trust, “we are going to properly rig them up into a hip rappel seat, so they not only trust us as rappel masters, but the equipment too,” said Yocom.
The rappel tower has many stations that the Cadets must go through before they are able to rappel. When they first arrive they have a seat and the rappel masters give a demonstration. The demonstration is a brief description on the basics of rappelling and what to, and not do while rappelling.
Cadets then get sent to the rappel seat station, here they “teach us how to tie certain knots to create a hip rappel seat, a Rappel seat is one single rope that you make a harness with,” said Cadet Nick Steinmetz, Virginia Military Institute, Danville, Ind.
Cadets then go to the Rappel Masters Inspection (RMPI) station “ensuring their rappel seat is correct and to make sure the Cadets know which hand is their brake hand and which hand is their guide hand,” said Yocom.
Cadets then do down a slanted rappel tower that helps them get use to the movements of what the sergeant is telling them.
They go to two more RMPI stations before they go down the wall then the no wall. Each time before they rappel they must be checked.
“This builds personal courage, it is one of the Army values. To learn to trust your equipment and yourself to all do the right thing,” said Steinmetz “I learned a lot about myself, I learned that I’m a little afraid of heights but you can overcome that with the right training and the right sergeant barking in your ear.”
Cadet Summer Training is taking individuals and making them into a leader. For a leader to be made they have to trust themselves in what they are doing.
“That’s what confidence is all about, overcoming fears,” said Yocom.
Cadet Summer Training will bring 8,200 Cadets through Basic and Advanced Camp this summer on Fort Knox. These camps are designed to help challenge, grow and improve various skills and leadership qualities within the Cadets. If you think you have what it takes to be a Cadet or if you are interested in a job after college click the following link: