By: Mattie Cook

Cadet Jackson Baker, the Citidel, and Michael Ciner, New Mexico Military Institute, maneuver a board with the help of their teammates on the destroyed bridge.  (photo by Mattie Cook)

Fort Knox, Ky., – Cadets of 8th Regiment, Advanced Camp tackled the challenges of the Field Leader Reaction Course (FLRC) on Fort Knox, Ky., July 9 in search of building trust among teammates.

FLRC consists of 12 obstacles, all with varying levels of difficulty, designed to build teamwork and trust among participants. Obstacle number five, the destroyed bridge, has a record of stumping Cadets by its seemingly easy appearance.

Destroyed Bridge supervisor, Sgt. Jose Montoya, 399th of Fort Knox, says the obstacle is harder than it looks.

Cadet Jackson Baker, the Citadel, N.C., played a key role in his squad’s efforts to make it across by being the first team member to cross.

“All the obstacles are challenging but our squad leader for this one was great. It’s always a little easier when you’ve got a good guy in charge that knows what he’s doing. We all discussed in the group what we were going to do so we had a good concept of the operation, knowing what we needed to do, so it was easy to visualize it in our minds before we actually physically did it,” said Baker.

Cadet Michael Ciner, New Mexico Military Institute, N.M., followed Baker in order across the bridge.

“Balance was important and communication was key in that exercise. I think we worked together really well,” said Ciner. “You have to have a loose plan and not make things too complicated, because when it gets too complicated we lose more time. We just need to plan well, using the one-thirds two-thirds rule; one-third planning, two-thirds executing so that’s what we did.”

Throughout their education and into their Army careers, Cadets will face obstacles of all kinds where they must develop a plan of action and work with others to execute a successful victory.

Cadet John Dwyer, Norwich University attempts to help fellow Cadet Lydia Eng, North Georgia University at the broken bridge. (photo by Mattie Cook)

Montoya believes they can take the skills learned at the FLRC through their entire Army careers.

“The most important thing they can learn from this station is communication and trust. In order to become a leader you first must be a follower. Being able to follow and take in everyone’s input is key is part of knowing how to command your squad. It’s a matter of trust and being able to listen,” he said.

8th Regiment, Advanced Camp is only on day two of Cadet Summer Training, and will be able to take trust built at FLRC into the rest of their days at Fort Knox.