By: Madison Thompson

FORT KNOX, Ky. – 1st Regiment, Basic Camp, attended Branch Orientation near the Patton Museum at Keyes Park, June 23, during Cadet Summer Training. During the event, different branches and specialties of the Army came to give Cadets information about the options and opportunities available to them after graduating.

“It’s really just to give them a familiarization of what’s out there in the Army so they can set their expectations now rather than find out last minute what the Army has to offer. We’re just trying to educate the Cadets on what jobs are there in the Army and what they do,” said Capt. John France, who works in Ordinance/Explosive Ordinance Disposal.

Ordinance/EOD were not the only branches present. There were 23 branches and specialties present including the following: Engineering, Armor, Transportation, Ordinance, Quartermaster, Signal Corps, Cyber, Finance, Military Intelligence, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Private Public Partnership, Chemical, Military Police, U.S. Army Reserve, Army National Guard, U.S. Army Cadet Command Accessions, Chaplain, Infantry, Air Defense Artillery, Field Artillery, Nurse Corps, Medical Service, Adjutant General.

1st Regiment, Basic Camp Branch Orientation
1st Regiment, Basic Camp Cadets learn about opportunities within the Army National Guard during Branch Orientation at Fort Knox, Ky., on June 23, 2017. (Photo by Nicholas Bafia)

Each branch set up tents to create a more personal environment for Cadets. In the tents, Cadre and branch members gave presentations and answered many important questions including: what to expect, Cadets’ career timeline and assignment locations.

“What we’re trying to do is give them a basic understanding of what the different branches do,” said Capt. Christopher Ladd, a Quartermaster. Ladd went on to explain his job and what Quartermasters do.

“Quartermasters basically provide several different classes of supply. We’re your cooks, both in the field and in Garrison. We run supply operations, warehouse operations … We also do cargo aerial delivery. So, throwing stuff out of the back of airplanes,” explained Ladd. “We purify water as well as do bulk distribution. For the Cadets out here, we’re running their field showers as well as their field laundry. We also do bulk petroleum at the theater level as well as all the way down to the unit level.”

This position, as well as any branch in the Army, serves a vital part in keeping the Army in good working order.

“What I really want is for them to see how the Army needs every branch to be successful. There’s a reason we have multiple branches. If you pulled one branch away from the Army it would affect the entire Army,” said France.

Cadets were free to attend any tent that interested them. At the sound of the horn, Cadets would move onto their second choice and so on until the fifth iteration was completed.

Some Cadets ventured out of their comfort zone into other branches that they were not familiar with. Cadet Annamarie Walker, Georgia Southern University, Augusta, Ga., ventured into Air Defense Artillery, despite being interested in Finance and Logistics.

1st Regiment, Basic Camp Branch Orientation
Cadet Annamarie Walker, Georgia Southern University, Augusta, Ga., and other 1st Regiment, Basic Camp Cadets listen to the capabalities of a missile system during Branch Orientation at Fort Knox, Ky., on June 23, 2017. (Photo by Nicholas Bafia)

“I thought it was very interesting. I didn’t know what it was fully and I didn’t know the Army did that,” said Walker.

Other Cadets are already familiar with the different branches and have secondary and tertiary plans for their futures.

“I want to go to JAG (Judicial Advocate General), Military Intelligence, Quartermaster and Nurse Corps. Aviation is my top priority. I’d like to fall into something in the medical field as well. Third, as a back-up plan, I wouldn’t mind doing supplies,” said Christian Cruz, University of Guam, Merizo, Guam.

At the end of the day, the Cadets are the main focus.

“Really, I’m hoping that they see, one, they find interest in what they like and, two, that they see how everyone works together as a team,” said France. “We’re here to show what the Army has to offer. We want to put the right person in the right job. It makes that person happy and successful and, therefore, it makes the Army happy and successful.”


Cadet Summer Training brings 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: