FORT KNOX Ky.- Today, was an exciting day for the 1stRegiment of Advanced Camp Cadets! Leadership skills, problem solving abilities, and teamwork were all put to the test at the Field Leader’s Reaction Course on June 11th. While in the field, the Cadets were split into several small groups where they tackled various challenging obstacles. Each obstacle was a simulation of an actual event that the Cadets could encounter. Some courses required moving “ammunition” from one side to the other without touching the “land mines” below them. Others required transitioning each person across without verbal communication. With each event time was of the essence, therefore it was critical that each Cadet not only learn their role but execute it in a timely manner.
Cadet Jawan Stewart of The University of North Carolina at Pen Brooke gave in sight about one of the obstacles he had done. “This is the Rope Bridge station, so originally there was a bridge here that got destroyed and there were only ropes left. Our mission was to get every person across the ropes and up and over the wall silently and efficiently.” He continued, “one of our ideas was to have two people lay down and suppress the rope so that others could crawl across and climb the wall. The best tactic that we used was to stand on the edge of the rope, the highest part, so you are more elevated when trying to climb the wall.”
These Cadets were confronting situational challenges as well as personal challenges that had to be overcome. “Personally, I am terrified of heights”, shared Cadet Julia Hutton of Florida Institute of Technology. “One of the obstacles was really high off the ground and so I struggled with facing my fear, overcoming it, and relying on my team throughout the process.”
As part of this training, each Cadet was able to put their leadership skills to the test at some point throughout the day. As a leader, their job was to brief their team on the overall mission, come up with an initial game plan, and finally execute that plan while simultaneously taking your team’s ideas into account.
Hutton voiced her experience as a squad leader stating, “I feel like I did alright. Of course, there were some bumps in the road. We have a lot of strong personalities so sometimes it’s hard to say hey let me talk and be the leader. But overall, I think we did okay as a team. They want you to be a great leader, but at the same time they want you to know how to follow as well.”
Cadet Jacklyn Jablonski of The University of New Mexico left a few words of encouragement for future Cadets who will have to overcome the same obstacles during their summer training. “Just work as a team. You can’t really focus on the task or yourself, you have to focus on how you guys can best work together. Once that happens, you guys will accomplish every mission you come across.”