Fort Knox, Ky. – Basic Camp is all about teaching Cadets the basic soldiering skills they need to know before going forward in their endeavor to become officers.
Cadets march in formation to a second location to continue training, July 11, 2019, at Fort Knox, Ky. Third Regiment, Basic Camp Cadets spent the day in Field Craft training learning skills required for later in the training. | Photo by Amy Turner, CST Public Affairs Office
Third Regiment Basic Camp Cadets spent Thursday going through Field Craft Training where throughout the day they learned and were tested on different skills they need to know to continue in their ROTC programs and Advanced Camp.
Most Cadets in the program are lateral entry Cadets meaning they are going into their junior or senior years at their university. Basic Camp serves as the training to catch them up on the missed time in the classroom and in the field.
“I have enjoyed it I have a good room and roommates. It pushes you a little bit but all in all it has not been too bad,” Cadet Brandon Graff, from Murphysboro, Illinois, and attending MoMath College said.
Cadet Andrew Salinas from California State University Los Angeles said that the experience all depends on how you handle yourself.
“Basic camp has been a learning experience,” the LA native said. “If you are at the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude you are going to be alright.”
A 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp Cadet gets evaluated on his weapon for Field Craftsmandship during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky., July 11. | Photo by Jordyn McCulley, CST Public Affairs Office.
All the Cadets have faced various challenges in getting accustomed to this new life style.
Cadet Louis Sotelo, from Imperial California is learning to cope with the lack of sleep.
“My biggest challenge has been waking up at 4 a.m. every morning,” the UCLA student said. “I wake up early at home, at 6 a.m., but nowhere near this early, back to back.”
Graff said he struggles with simply feeling behind.
“[My biggest challenge has been] keeping up,” Graff said. “A lot of kids are ahead of me so me catching up to everyone is my biggest challenge.”
Along with the challenges, Cadets have also enjoyed various aspects of the training.
“My favorite part is getting to know my roommates and my squad,” Sotelo said. “After the first few days we got to know each other well and got to work as a team really well. That makes me confident in my abilities to work well with people that I just met.”
As they work towards completing Basic Camp the Cadets are continuing to learn and practice leadership in preparation for their careers as officers.
“I have always wanted to serve,” Salinas said. “My mentor told me about ROTC because I was going to enlist, I think it has been a really good place for me. I think I found my calling, that is to lead.”