Last Updated: October 16th, 2020By

Fort Knox, Ky., – After a long month of camp, 7th Regiment Basic Camp Cadets returned to the Central Issuing Facility to scrub away their hard work and return their equipment in preparation for departure.

Cadet Joseph Phillips, student at the Virginia Military Institute, native of Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, is ready to return home after a successful time at Basic Camp.

A Cadet from 8th Regiment, Basic Camp, scrubs his equipment before retuning it at CIF on Aug. 2 at Fort Knox, Ky. Photo by Emily Peacock

“It feels good. A month is a long time but it feels good that it’s over, we learned a lot, and a lot of good leadership skills were learned here,” said Phillips. “Right now we are turning our gear back into CIF. We took gear out from their supply to conduct training this entire month. This week after we finished our Field Exercise Training, we had to clean everything and turn it back in, and when we are done we are maintaining our rifles so we can turn them back in as well.”

Phillips enjoyed the training he experienced while at CST.

“The best thing was getting gassed (at the CBRN chambers), I really thought that was a once in a lifetime thing. You don’t get to normally tell your friends that you got gassed in a CS chamber,” said Phillips.

Staying focused and motivated was important to Phillips, as well as respecting other Cadets’ skills and abilities.

“My motivation was getting a contract when I go back to school and (eventually) my commission,” said Phillips. “The biggest thing to remember is to do what your told and make the best out of it. Everybody is going to have different skills that they have, some might know more than others because of going to military schools. Just don’t let your ego get in the way of you, be humble, and if it seems easy to you then find a way to make it hard for yourself so you can get something out of it.”

Phillips appreciated the opportunity to learn from the NCO’s they trained and instructed him while at Basic Camp.

“I wish I had known it was run by drill sergeants. Before I came here, it sounded like it would be a boring summer camp, but with it being led by drill sergeants, it was a big plus. We got to learn a lot since they are higher up NCO’s, and they gave us a lot of life lessons to apply when we become Officers, so it was good thing,” said Phillips.

Cadet Sara Pessognelli, student at the Virginia Military Institute, native of Morgantown, Pennsylvania, is looking forward to graduating and returning home.

Cadet Zachary Hering, Virginia Military Institute, passes the time by doing push-ups at CIF on Aug. 2 at Fort Knox, Ky. Photo by Emily Peacock

“It feels good, I’m ready to go home. There’s been a lot of hurry up and wait happening these last few days,” said Pessognelli. “I’m looking forward to just being home, eating food, and sleeping when I want. I’m looking forward to having a burger.”

Like Phillips, Pessognelli enjoyed the CBRN training the most during her time at camp.

“I really liked the CBRN training, and I also really like rucking, I really enjoyed any physical activity,” said Pessognelli. “I felt pretty prepared to come here, it was about what I was expecting it to be, honestly, I felt good.”

Pessognelli recommends bringing as much gear as possible from school and learning from the drill sergeants instructing them while at Basic Camp.

“Bring as much gear as you can from your schools. There is people here who had nothing, and it’s taking them forever to clean their stuff. Just bring everything that you can possibly can, otherwise you’ll be cleaning it for hours or even days,” said Pessognelli. “I really liked the drill sergeants, they are really cool, and good guys, and it was good training because they really know their stuff.”

7th Regiment Basic Camp will continue pushing through out-processing before graduating from CST August 7th.