By: Mattie Cook
FORT KNOX, KY.,- Cadets of 9th Regiment Advanced Camp cleared their sinuses at the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) chamber on Fort Knox, Ky., July 19.
Cadets were first trained in proper care and use of gas masks and mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear. In order to be properly equipped and ready, they must be able to put on their gear and seal their mask in eight minutes or less.
After their gear is secured, it’s time to go through the chamber.
“My face was on fire, my lungs were on fire, I wanted to breathe but it’s not really possible at all,” said Cadet Alexa Uber, Ohio University.
Commonly seen by Cadre, Cadets burst out of the chamber usually coughing, tearing up, not able to see and a little disoriented. However, Cadets must take direction from Cadre remaining calm even at their most uncomfortable.
Chaplain Candidate, First Lieutenant Yoonseok Lee leads by example in going through the training also and said motivation is what he tries to provide Cadets.
“I’m learning a lot and trying to motivate the Cadets the right way. What works is joining them, just being with them embracing the suck and showing them we’re here for them.
When asked why the gas chamber training was important, Cadet Uber had this to say: “It’s important for us to see that we can trust our equipment. When we first go in, our masks are sealed but we realized just how helpful they were when we had to break the seal, experiencing the CS gas,” she said.
Despite the disorientation and negative physical effects of the CS gas, Cadets leave the chamber motivated and closer as a team, having conquered the daunting task together.
“It’s awful and terrible but I would do it again,” said Uber.
9th Regiment, Advanced Camp will finish the remaining 23 days of their training with events like Land Navigation and their two week Field Training Exercise.