Brig. Gen. John R. Evans, Jr. briefs 1st Regiment Advanced Camp over expectations and aspirations set in place. June 5, 2018. Fort Knox, KY. Photo by AJ Barnes

Fort Knox, KY. – U.S. Army Cadet Command’s 1stRegiment Advanced Camp was briefed by Brig. Gen. John R. Evans, Jr. yesterday evening in the Olive Theater on base. Cadets were instructed about the critical qualities of leadership and the expectations set in place.

Over the next three and a half weeks, cadets will be placed through physically and mentally demanding challenges to prepare themselves for the trials they will face as 2ndLt.’s. Training capitalizes on talents and strengthens weaknesses, creating officers that will shape the future of the Army.

“Even though you may be the newest member to the platoon make no mistake about it; when you show up with that lieutenant bar to your chest, everybody’s watching,” exclaimed Evans.

Many challenges lie ahead as individuals will be tested on their ability to lead under stressful situations. When faced with tough decisions, they must remember the general’s number one rule: ‘always fly the airplane’.

“It’s not about flying the airplane in a literal sense, it’s about working the problem in front of you,” said Evans. “There will be lots of things influencing and affecting your decisions, you’ve got to find a way to work through them.”

Aspiring officers from the 1st Regiment Advanced Camp listen intently to Evans briefing. June 5, 2018. Fort Knox, KY. Photo by AJ Barnes.

As officers, they will be the example for their fellow soldiers and only by developing qualities befitting great leaders will they be able to do so. A good leader must be aware, available, action-oriented, and accountable; Advanced Camp encourages the growth of those attributes.

Effective leaders need to be aware of their surroundings, people and of their impact as an officer. Effective leaders need to be available to show their people that they care. A good leader will be action-oriented to be ready in a crisis situation. Yet, the hardest thing an effective leader must do is to be accountable; they are the difference and need to hold themselves to equal if not higher standards.

“You’ve got to be aware enough to understand that your role is going to get continually broader as you advance in the rank,” declared Evans. “The things you say and do will be emulated by your Soldiers. You are in the army 24/7, all the time people are watching you so you are the example.”

Advanced Camp brings plenty of opportunities for individuals to put the general’s advice to action. All eyes are on the 1stregiment as they set the tone for the rest of the summer and the focus of Fort Knox shifts almost entirely to Cadet training. This year’s Cadets will experience tougher, more realistic training to prepare for bigger and broader threats in the world.

“We train hard now, so that you don’t bleed in combat later,” said Evans.

Evans receives plenty of feedback and questions from 1st Regiment Advanced Camp Cadets. June 5, 2018. Fort Knox, KY. Photo by AJ Barnes

Though their handbooks may define leadership, it is up to the individual to find it within themselves to be aware, available, action-oriented, and accountable. Leaders must implement Evan’s advice and leaders first and foremost must remember to ‘always fly the airplane’.