FORT KNOX, KY – Third Regiment, Basic Camp, Cadets arrived Monday afternoon at Fort Knox, Kentucky, on Day Zero to start their Cadet Summer Training (CST).

On the day of arrival, Cadets began with checking-in, organizing and accounting for their equipment. Belongings were checked to ensure the safety of the Cadets, and to make sure they did not bring any contraband items. Cadre went through these procedures to get the Cadets ready to set up their lockers and make sure everything is squared away.

As Cadets arrived the air was filled with many different emotions. Some Cadets were excited for the journey ahead while others were nervous.

Over the course of the next 31 days, 3rd Regiment Cadets will take part in various activities such as the High Ropes Course, the Rappel Tower, a Field Training Exercise (FTX), a Land Navigation course, the CBRN Confidence Chamber and Weapons Qualification.

Basic Camp attendees fall into two categories.  The first are students who have been in college for a year or two and have now decided to join ROTC.  The second are recent high school graduates attending one of the four military junior colleges.  At the MJCs, the students commission after two years before going on to complete their undergraduate degree.

“I’m actually looking forward to the [confidence] chamber. It seems really interesting, I’ll probably regret that thought,” Cadet Tia Bell, from the City College of New York, said.

Cadet Tia Bell, from City College New York, unpacks her bags so Cadre can inspect them during arrival at Fort Knox, July 1, 2019. | Photo by Hannah Hedden, CST Public Affairs Office

Although some Cadets are nervous about CST, most of the Cadets are here for one ultimate goal. That goal is to gain leadership experience or to become an Army Officer.

Cadet Claire Crawford, from the University of West Florida, stated, “I’m looking forward to becoming more of a leader, meeting other people and going through the process of becoming an officer.”

Cadet Alexander Page, from the University of Maryland, is not the first one in his family to join ROTC. Page is following in his sister’s footsteps after she convinced him to join.

Cadet Alexander Page, from the University of Maryland, waits in line before having his bags checked by Cadre during arrival at Fort Knox, July 1, 2019. | Photo by Hannah Hedden, CST Public Affairs Office

When asked what he wanted to achieve from the experience of CST, Page stated he wanted to, “Just grow as a person and learn from any mistakes that I make along the journey and how to improve myself.” Page also explained how excited he was for the camaraderie and learning Army values while at CST.

The overall goal of Basic Camp is for Cadets to prepare and develop the essential skills that will help them succeed in their future career in the Army. Basic Camp provides extra help and training for Cadets that will attend Advanced Camp next summer. Even though most Cadets are nervous about what is to come, the challenges they face will help them develop confidence and leadership skills that are key to becoming an officer.

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