FORT KNOX, Ky. – After a rigorous 31 days, Cadets of 6th Regiment celebrated the long-awaited completion of Basic Camp with a graduation ceremony on Brooks Field August 2.

Looking back, Cadet Alexander Ayres of the University of Northern Colorado says his experience at Basic Camp was more enjoyable than it was difficult all thanks to his peers in Alpha Company.

Cadet Robert Kilbourn, University of Alaska Fairbanks, recites the Cadet Creed during 6th Regiment, Basic Camp’s graduation ceremony on Brooks Field at Fort Knox, Ky. August 2. Photo by Sade’ Wilson

“It was kind of a culture shock transitioning from my civilian life to basic summer training. I made a bunch of friends and I’ve made lots of new battle buddies and they really helped me pull through thick and thin. We were able to keep the morale up, keep going, and I had fun,” Ayres shared.

Ayres says he’s most looking forward to being back in familiar surroundings.

“I’m just ready to go home. I’m not used to this heat. I’m not used to this much oxygen. I’m from the mountains. I miss my family and my dog,” Ayres expressed.

Coming from a non-military family, Cadet Dalton Byrne of Oregon State University says he experienced a stronger sense of culture shock when he arrived to Basic Camp.

“It was definitely a quick change as soon as I got off the bus. Slowly, as I got used to things, everything got a little more comfortable. I started to relax a little bit. Stress was definitely high at first – having a time hack, always having somewhere to be in the right uniform, etcetera, and then meeting our drill sergeants. That was definitely an experience I’ll remember forever, too,” Byrne recalls.

Cadet Trevor Hamm, Canisius College, and Cadet Laura Couzens, Belmont University, lead Bravo Co., 6th Regiment, Basic Camp during their graduation ceremony on Brooks Field at Fort Knox, Ky. August 2. Photo by Sade’ Wilson

Like Ayres, Byrne said working with his peers during the most difficult parts of training helped to make Basic Camp gratifying.

“At times where it wasn’t fun, we just embraced it and that’s what helped us get through a bunch of stuff. Overall, [I] definitely enjoyed the experience,” Byrne shared.

Once the academic year begins this fall, Ayres and Byrne said they’ll find themselves being tested in tougher positions that will refine their leadership skills and prepare them for Advanced Camp next summer.

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: