FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp participated in the high ropes confidence course July 9.
The confidence course is designed to force Cadets to confront their fears, learn to trust the equipment provided and promote team motivation and communication.
Cadet Adrian Lopez, Marion Military Institute, from 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp climbs the rock wall during the High Ropes Confidence Course at Fort Knox, Ky., July 9, 2019. | Photo by Dustin Massengill, CST Public Affairs Office
The course consists of an obstacle course and two towers to be climbed. The 35-foot obstacle course has multiple events such as rope crawls, ropewalks and a zip line. The 45-foot alpine tower forces Cadets to be creative and confident as they ascend the tower. Lastly the 55-foot rock wall is the simplest but tallest feature on the course, the Cadets are simply asked to climb.
Emotions were high for this event, it was the first chance the Cadets have had to develop comradery in the field and the first time they would be participating in any height related training.
“I’m honestly really excited. I haven’t done any of these courses before,” said Cadet Allison Braden, University of Texas at San Antonio, from Wiesbaden Germany. “I’ve done some rock climbing, but that was when I was really young so that doesn’t count.”
Cadet Allison Braden, University of Texas at San Antonio, from 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp belays during the High Ropes Confidence Course at Fort Knox, Ky., July 9, 2019. | Photo by Dustin Massengill, CST Public Affairs Office
“I feel great, I do this stuff every so often so I don’t have a problem with heights,” said Cadet Caleb Lindberg, Marion Military Institute. “This stuff is really fun to me because I want to go to Ranger School.”
Not everyone was as excited about scaling that high though.
“Someone was singing [a Nelly song] earlier because he was that scared,” Lindberg said. “He was so nervous he said he had to sing to keep his composure.”
Cadet Dorian Downes, University of Texas at San Antonio, said he was nervous but performed well under the pressure.
Cadet Dorian Downes, University of Texas at San Antonio, from 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp climbs the rock wall at the High Ropes Confidence Course at Fort Knox, Ky., July 9, 2019. | Photo by Dustin Massengill, CST Public Affairs Office
“Before the wall I felt nervous, because I’d never ever climbed a wall before or been up that high,” he said, “but my battle buddies weren’t as scared as I was.”
“It was good though, because it allowed us all to build teamwork and comradery,” He continued, “I’m not sure how high up I made it, but it was further than my battle buddies.”
The Cadets will have another chance to develop confidence in themselves and their gear when they take on the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training, July 18.