By: Mattie Cook

Fort Knox, Ky.,- 6th Regiment, Advanced Camp Cadets are nearing the end of camp with just equipment turn-in and Family Day to go; but before swinging into graduation, they had to conquer their last event: the confidence course and rappel tower.

Cadet Steven Littel, University of Tennessee Knoxville, rappels down the 64 foot rappel tower on Fort Knox, Ky., July 23. (Photo by Mattie Cook)

The 64-foot rappel tower consists of a wall side rappel and a free rappel. Cadets go off both sides of the tower not only to learn rappelling technique but to test their confidence and trust in their equipment and Cadre.

Cadet Torrence Hass, Colorado State University, Co., said he was nervous all morning in anticipation.

Cadet Torrence Hass, Colorado State University, rappels down the 64 foot rappel tower on Fort Knox, Ky., July 23. (Photo by Mattie Cook)

“I’m afraid of heights. I’ve never done this before so this was my first time and I was freaking out all morning,” Hass said. “I told myself, they’re not going to let me fall, so I just gotta do this. It’s really just one step at a time. You get your feet into place, sit down in the ‘L’, then one bounce, two and down.”

Cadre are stationed at the top of the rappel tower, instructing Cadets on their way down and ensuring their safety. Nervous faces and shakey knees are common at the top, but Hass says once you’ve gone down the first side, the no-wall side it just fun.

“I remember the first time I looked down, it seemed like 100 stories, but the second time was fast,” he said. “The wall side was harder, it makes it look taller. You get the first one done and you’re like, I can do this. I thought the side with no wall was easier, just swinging back and forth all the way down. If anyone is worried about the rappel tower, just know it’s more fun than scary.”

Along with the tower, Cadets complete the confidence course, reinforcing the test of their determination.

“The confidence course is just like any other obstacle course you would do in the military,” Hass said. “That was a good practice to do before coming over here to the rappel tower. If you can get through one, you can get through the other. So it was good to do those together.”

Testing confidence and perseverance when uncomfortable has been a theme throughout training and Hass says he will take that into his senior year of ROTC and then on as a Second Lieutenant.

Cadet Tony Scinta, Ohio State University, climbs the cargo net of an obstacle on the confidence course at Fort Knox, Ky., July 23. (Photo by Mattie Cook)

“If we’re training when we’re comfortable we’re not training the best. What i’ve learned at camp is that if you’re comfortable, well rested and well fed, you can push yourself farther and we’ve proven that to ourselves in the last 28 days,” he said. “There’s going to be highs and lows, it’s a roller coaster. You’re going to be tired, you’re going to be hungry, thirsty sometimes but have a good positive attitude.”

6th Regiment, Advanced Camp will graduate on Brook’s Field of Fort Knox, Ky., July 27 with pride and confidence knowing they have what it takes to be the Army’s next best and brightest officers.

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: