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FORT KNOX, Ky. – Rappelling may not have been in the repertoire of all 10th Regiment Cadets prior to Advanced Camp, but each one of them bounded down the 60-foot rappel tower, July 22.

Cadet Jesus Salinas, University of Texas at El Paso, 10th Regiment, Advanced Camp belays for his battle buddy descending the practice rappel tower at Fort Knox, Ky., July 21, 2019. | Photo by Mary Kate Griffin, CST Public Affairs Office.

1st Lt. Jason Keniston, the 10th Regiment chaplain, explained how the rappel training at Advanced Camp readies Cadets for their career as commissioned officers.

“The rappel training prepares Cadets for combat situations but primarily demonstrates how overcoming fear is feasible,” said Keniston. “Everyone goes up the tower with some sort of fear. All Cadets have to do is trust their leadership, trainers, equipment and the fact that Cadre will not put them in harm’s way.”

Cadet Julia Edwin Jeyaku, attending Saint Mary’s University San Antonio, Texas, had never rappelled prior to Advanced Camp.

“I’m usually not afraid of heights, but this is a new experience,” said Jeyaku. “I am excited.”

Jeyaku’s free-fall rappel experience was definitely exciting as she inverted herself almost immediately after beginning the first bound of her descent. Instead of panicking, however, Jeyaku followed the directives of the Cadre acting as safety for her at the top of her lane.

“Being upside-down was actually pretty fun,” said Jeyaku. “Sergeant just pushed my legs down and gave me the all clear to go.”

Cadet Thomas Forte, Dickinson College, 10th Regiment, Advanced Camp ties his swiss seat in preparation for the rappel tower at Fort Knox, Ky., July 21, 2019. | Photo by Mary Kate Griffin, CST Public Affairs Office.

Patrick Clark, a Cadet at the University of Kansas, had rappelled numerous times before descending the tower.

“I could do this all day,” said Clark. “My aunt runs a rappel and zipline course in Hawaii and I try it every time I visit. The tallest structure I rappelled off was a 100-foot Hawaiian pine tree.”

Regardless of prior rappelling experience, Cadets can rest assured that Advanced Camp rappel training is designed for novices and experts alike to excel.


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