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Fort Knox, Ky. – Cadets of 4th Regiment, Basic Camp were tasked with the challenge of maneuvering through the daunting Beaudoin Obstacle Course. With over a dozen obstacles, all testing the Cadets in unique and physical ways, it is often easy to surrender in the face of adversity. However, the Cadets of 4th Regiment refused to buckle under the pressure.

Cadets of 4th Regiment, Basic Camp are all business as they attempt the Beaudoin Obstacle Course during Cadet Summer Training 2018. (Fort Knox, Ky. 6 July) Photos by: Jakob Coombes

When Cadets first arrive at Fort Knox for the summer, their lives begin to change the moment they get off the bus. The long month ahead of them is filled with challenges and the inevitable question, “What am I doing here?” Nevertheless, as the days turn to weeks, they begin to break through the struggle and find their groove; a trend that draws parallels to tackling the Beaudoin Obstacle Course.

“Don’t give up on me! You better not quit, you’ve got this!”

Cadets of 4th Regiment, Basic Camp feeling the burn and sweet taste of success as they tackle the rope climb at the Beaudoin Obstacle Course during Cadet Summer Training 2018. (Fort Knox, Ky. 6 July) Photos by: Jakob Coombes

Master Sgt. Armstrong encouraged his Cadets as they fought with grit and perseverance when climbing the rope, giving every ounce of strength to make it to the top. Regardless if they succeeded in touching the top or not, when the Cadet made it back to the ground, they were greeted with encouragement before trekking on to the next challenge.

To some, these portions of Basic Camp are just a test of physical gifts; however, that is just the tip of the iceberg. For these Cadets, the obstacles act as metaphors for everything that has gone wrong or will go wrong in their lives. They’re learning that when life throws adversity and troubling times at them, they are strong enough to weather the storm and smart enough to never do it alone.

“We rely on each other. We know our job is to protect this great nation and it’s not something one person can do alone,” stated Cadet Phyllis Dunn of Grambling State University.

Cadets of 4th Regiment, Basic Camp are all smiles as they reach new heights at the Beaudoin Obstacle Course during Cadet Summer Training 2018. (Fort Knox, Ky. 6 July) Photos by: Jakob Coombes

With every mistake made throughout camp, the Cadets grow and learn. They are slowly molded and polished into the protectors of our nation and our future leaders. Cadets of 4th Regiment, Basic Camp defeated the beast that is Beaudoin and have found growth through adversity.

“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” – Malcolm X

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