FORT KNOX, KY. – Basic Camp Cadets will train in the air, in the woods, on the range and even on the track but today 5th Regiment will train in the classroom.

Cadets use a protractor to calculate distance on a map, July 20, 2019, at Fort Knox Ky. | Photo by Amy Turner, CST Public Affairs Office

Cadets spent the morning training in Map Reading and Terrain Association.

Cadet Brenden Gleeson, from Valley Forge Military College said he was enjoying the break from Kentucky’s midsummer heat and humidity.

“Training is going pretty good,” the Ridgefield, Connecticut native said. “It is nice that we are in an air-conditioned building considering its very hot outside.”

Cadet Michael Vannote, a student attending Valley Forge Military College, also enjoyed the classroom setting, not only for the break from the heat but also the break from other training events.

“I came here to learn and that is what we are doing,” Vannote said. “I am more about learning than I am about doing pushups, so I will take every chance to be in a classroom that I get.

During the training Cadets had various challenges — from understanding the content to just staying awake.

5th Regiment Basic Camp Cadets listen to Cadre teach them how to read a map and plot points. During CST, Cadets will be tested on this during the day and night Land Navigation test at Fort Knox, Ky., July 20. | Matthew Billiot, CST Public Affairs Office

“Trying to find all the points [is a big challenge] because you have to do that pretty fast in the field so [today] is just getting into the grove and understanding how everything works,” Cadet Anthony Trecozzy, also a student at Valley Forge Military College, said.

Vannote, a native of Bayville, New Jersey, struggled getting adjusted to the lack of sleep during Basic Camp.

“Today my biggest challenge is staying awake,” Vannote said. “We haven’t really gotten a lot of sleep so trying to run off a little sleep is hard without being able to use caffeine.”

Despite their struggles, Cadets all found ways to tackle the training.

“The most helpful resource is probably the Cadre,” Gleeson said. “Master Sgt. Beck has helped us find certain points on the map when we were confused if it was echo-hotel or foxtrot-hotel depending on grid coordinates on the map.”

5th Regiment Basic Camp Cadet Emily Stinner, from the University of Oklahoma, learns to plot points during a Map Reading Class. During CST, Cadets will be tested on this during the day and night Land Navigation test at Fort Knox, Ky., July 20. | Matthew Billiot, CST Public Affairs Office

Cadre were not the only aid to the Cadets.

“The most helpful thing today is my peers and fellow Cadets,” Vannote said. “We all help each other out with our problems, like staying awake and waking up and ensuring that we have everything.”

While trying to find specific points on a map, Cadets were motivated by remembering the point of Basic Camp.

“I love learning new things, it is really good to brush up on [map reading], and experiencing leadership all around is very motivating,” Trecozzy, another native of New Jersey, said.

Gleeson said he has really enjoyed getting a taste of the military life style seeing as it can be very different than normal civilian life.

“My favorite part of Basic Camp is definitely the military life style,” Gleeson said. “I have always felt that the military was my calling since I was young.”

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