FORT KNOX, Ky. – A desolate confidence course is abruptly rushed by 5th Regiment Advanced Camp Cadets ready to train, June 27.
5th Regiment Advanced Camp Cadets wait for their battle buddies to complete the Weaver obstacle on the Confidence Course at Fort Knox, Ky. on June 27, 2019 | Photo by Mary Kate Griffin, CST Public Affairs Office
The confidence course involves a series of obstacles Cadets complete with their battle buddies prior to braving the rappel tower.
“They are tested on three primary competencies: confidence, courage, and teamwork,” said Capt. Patrick O’Neil, from Central Michigan University. “It’s about maintaining squad integrity and encouraging each other.”
5th Regiment Cadets were by no means short on encouragement. While they waited for their turn to attempt each obstacle, Cadets cheered for their battle buddies who were completing their attempts.
5th Regiment Advanced Camp Cadet Gerervo Cuevas, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, walks across the planks on the Tough One obstacle at the Confidence Course at Fort Knox, Ky. on June 27, 2019 | Photo by Mary Kate Griffin, CST Public Affairs Office
“It’s pretty fun, especially with the squads,” said Cadet Gerervo Cuevas, attending the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. “It’s good team building. Some people are scared of heights, so it’s good to motivate each other.”
The most difficult obstacle on the course has Cadets climb a rope, walk across planks, climb a ladder and descend a cargo net. By no coincidence, it’s called Tough One. Fortunately for some Cadets, this sort of obstacle is not new.
Cadet Jessica Williams, attending Kennesaw State University, was enlisted prior to joining the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). She went through basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and trained with similar obstacles in teams while being timed.
5th Regiment Advanced Camp Cadet Jessica Williams, Kennesaw State University, climbs the ladder on the Tough One obstacle at the Confidence Course at Fort Knox, Ky. on June 27, 2019 | Photo by Mary Kate Griffin, CST Public Affairs Office
Williams stayed behind after completing the Tough One to watch her battle buddy, Cadet Jordan Neeley, attending The Citadel, complete the obstacle.
“That’s my battle up there,” Williams said as she watched Neeley complete the obstacle. “She used all her upper body strength to climb up the rope and now she’s tired. She’s making it though.”
Cadet Neeley finished strong with bullets of sweat streaming down her face.
“I feel better now that it’s over, but it was a lot of fun,” said Neeley.