Fort Knox, Ky., – The 30 days of Cadet Summer Training is finally completed for Basic Camp 4th Regiment. The Cadets were recognized for their hard work in a graduation ceremony held July 16, Brooks Field.
Col. Jon M. Tussing, 8th Brigade Commander, spoke to the Cadets during the graduation about their time and accomplishments at CST.
“Cadets of 4th Regiment, it’s been a pleasure working with you. You should be proud of your accomplishments here at Cadet Summer Training— I know we certainly are,” said Tussing. “Never forget the lessons that you have learned, your efforts have prepared you to meet the challenges as you continue on your journey in Army ROTC and the path towards becoming an Officer.”
Tussing also encouraged the Cadets to always be dutiful leaders, especially in the future.
“Remember: to take time to know your soldiers, even though you will have very little time. Always put their needs before your own. Ensure they understand the importance of the mission and your unit’s role,” said Tussing. “Listen to your Non-Commissioned Officers, make sure you’re always ready, physically and mentally. Always improve your position and never, ever quit. We have the best soldiers in the world, and they deserve the best leaders— that’s why you are here.”
Cadet Andrew Stracke, student at the University of Texas—San Antonio, native of Kerrville, Texas received the Military Order of World Wars award during the graduation ceremony.
“I’m happy to be graduating, I’ve missed my family, so it’s nice to be able to know I am going home and seeing them. Getting an award, I’m proud about the accomplishment, and having that honor means a lot to me,” said Stracke.
For Stracke, the hardest part of training was staying both mentally and physically strong no matter the challenge presented.
“The hardest part was definitely mental fatigue. You get to a point where you haven’t really had real sleep in a week and half to two weeks, and you are just trying to get through the next task and everything drags together and your mind can get in your way, so getting past that is definitely the hardest thing,” said Stracke.
Stracke encourages future Basic Camp Cadets to prepare before they arrive at CST.
“For Cadets coming to camp, be prepared to just listen and learn as much as you can. Everything that you are tested on here, there is a class on it, and you’ll learn everything you need to know.” said Stracke. “Pay attention in class, take notes, and just be prepared for everything. There is no right or wrong answer in most situations, as long as you have an answer, you’re better off than not having one.”
Cadet Miranda Robertson, Missouri State University, Owensville, Missouri, received the Reserve Officers Association award at the graduation ceremony.
“It feels good to graduate. I know everybody’s been antsy to go home, everybody has been missing their families,” said Robertson. “It was a tough training, there were parts that were challenging and there were also parts that were easier. I just think everybody is happy to be graduated and ready to be going home.”
Robertson said that overcoming homesickness is one of the biggest challenges she faced during Basic Camp.
“I think for me, the hardest part of training was missing home a little bit. I came in pretty prepared, so I thought that most of the physical stuff was pretty easy for me, it was just some of the mental stuff, like missing home and getting used to the army life,” said Robertson.
Robertson encourages future Basic Camp Cadets to put their trust in the NCO’s that are guiding them during summer training.
“Some advice that I would give to Cadets that are going to be coming in is: just take in everything that are telling you, they are not going to tell you something is going to lead you in the wrong direction in any way,” said Robertson. “The senior drill sergeant told us before we all went out there that “everybody can be a battle buddy but not everybody can be the best,” so I think that is something that we were all striving to do out there, is prove that we are going to be the best leaders in the Army.”
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: https://my.goarmy.com/info/rotc1/index.jsp?iom=IP08-AUTO-R1NA-BR-XXX-XX-XXX-MO-XX-X-BRCMAC:IP08