By: Madison Thompson
FORT KNOX, Ky. – 7th Regiment, Advanced Camp, Cadets completed Field Training Exercises, July 25, during Cadet Summer training at Fort Knox. FTX is training done out in the field where Cadets spend eight days running drills and employing their culminated knowledge to develop leadership skills.
“So, over the last eight days, they’ve been out in the field working on platoon small unit tactics against a pretty aggressive bad guy out there. They got a lot of good training in small unit tactics and it enabled the Cadre to evaluate their leadership potential,” said Lt. Col. Joel Thomas. “We used small unit tactics as a vehicle to assess their leadership. So, they would do some patrolling, ambushes, raids, key leader engagements and other small unit tactics so that we can assess their leadership competence and attributes.”
The reasons for this training are numerous in the eyes of both the Cadre and the Cadets.
“Part of this is a stepping-stone for their commissioning as 2nd lieutenants. This gives us, as Cadre, an opportunity to view them in austere conditions and to assess their leadership styles and leadership characteristics and then provide, most importantly, feedback for their continued development once they get back to their universities,” Thomas said. “Everything we do out here sets a baseline for their knowledge when they become 2nd lieutenants … Everybody’s going to lead a little bit differently, but there are some fundamentals that our Cadets need to have before they become 2nd lieutenants and it’s an ongoing process.”
“The purpose is to simulate as much real life as we can in a controlled environment. The major thing is that they want to read our character. They want to read how you react under a stressful environment,” said Cadet Michael Cook, Bowie State University, Atlanta, Ga.
“It’s to test us. We’re here. This is our third year into our college experience, building ourselves. This is a culmination of the three years of training we received. So, they’re testing our ability to lead, our character, our integrity,” said Cadet Nolan Chandler, Oregon State University, Salem, Ore. “The best way to see someone’s true character is to put them out in the dirt for eight days with not very much sleep and see how they react.”
After spending eight days in the field for FTX, Cadets returned to a base for a recovery stage and for refitting. Here, Cadets cleaned and accounted for weapons and equipment.
Now that this leg of training is complete, Cadets offered some pieces of advice.
“Take what you learn here and pass it on to the Cadets who are going to come after you. Don’t let it fall by the wayside,” said Chandler. “Don’t come back and be like, ‘I went through the one month training, I can do what I want now. I’m not going to teach anybody anything.’ Get them ready for next year. Use what you learned here to prepare the class beneath you so they can come and be 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: https://my.goarmy.com/info/rotc1/index.jsp?iom=IP08-AUTO-R1NA-BR-XXX-XX-XXX-MO-XX-X-BRCMAC:IP08