Appreciate the Burn
FORT KNOX, Ky. — 11th Regiment, Advanced Camp Cadets persevered through the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Confidence Chamber July 16 during Cadet Summer Training.
“We had our classes where we learned how to trust our gear and how to utilize it properly. Then, the proper steps if we were ever in the environments and need to use it,” explained Cadet Brandon Milburn, Norwich University. “After that, we did the practical application of it where we went inside the gas chamber and were exposed to the chemical substance.”
During the introductory classes, Cadets were shown a demonstration of what the Chemical Branch of the military does.
“They came out and showed us with some background music and some background narration. There were Soldiers acting it out of what it would be like if you were to get gassed and the process you need to do,” narrated Cadet Angela Contreras, Texas Tech University.
Cadets examined the purpose of this training and why it is important for them to understand.
“The purpose, they say, is to gain confidence in your gear, but I also think it’s confidence to get through something you may be a little nervous about, trusting your equipment and also trusting the NCOs and officers,” said Milburn.
After proceeding through training and testing, many Cadets felt a greater appreciation for the Chemical Branch. One Cadet noted the appreciation came from understanding the different areas of concentration within the branch.
“I’d say I definitely have a greater appreciation for it. I didn’t know it had different facets to it. I thought it was one specific job. I definitely respect it more and they have a very difficult job on their hands,” said Milburn.
Another Cadet realized that the training they received is essential for potential circumstances.
“I do have an appreciation for it,” said Cadet Crystal Johnson, North Carolina A&T State University. “I think that, if anything were to happen, we are getting this training to always be prepared. It’s a good thing we’re taught this in multiple platforms. Regardless of your basic training, you’re doing this annually with your unit.”
Cadets reflected on their experience and what they decided to take away from it.
“It taught me to rely on my leadership – to come out with that confidence – know I am capable of doing what I want to. Even through something might not make sense or something might not be the best thing in the moment, you come out stronger and more confident because of that,” stated Contreras.
For future Cadets as they come to camp, Contreras also offered the advice of, “Just come out here with the most positive attitude you have. You have to make your own fun and friends. It’s all about finding the perfect battle buddy and the perfect attitude.”