FORT KNOX, Ky. — 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp Cadets attended Branch Orientation at Keyes Park July 30 during Cadet Summer Training.
“We are at Branch Day. So, we are getting an opportunity to visit with representatives from each of the basic branches that we may choose or put on our lists after we commission,” said Cadet Karen Yurek, Queens University of Charlotte.
Master Sgt. Christopher Parker, Senior Military Instructor at Florida International University, explained that Cadets have a certain number of branches they must visit.
“They’ll have nine rotations in which two of the rotations they must visit the Reserve and National Guard components,” stated Parker.
Although this is a mandatory event for Cadets to attend, they recognize that Branch Orientation serves an important purpose. Some see that the experience helps Cadets who may not be as familiar with the Army.
“It’s definitely good for everybody here who may not have any military experience to try and get an idea of what the military can offer in terms of jobs and careers,” stated Cadet Sean Webb, Marion Military Institute.
Other Cadets recognize the limitations of their current knowledge of the Army and are grateful for the opportunity to speak with branched Cadre about their careers.
“It’s one of the things we have to do for graduation, but a lot of us want to be here to actually figure out what we want to do,” said Cadet Hailey Cook, Marion Military Institute. “For me, personally, I have no idea what I want to do. So, this is really good for me, to see everything and figure it out.”
Overall, Cadets’ main takeaway was to glean information and broaden their minds.
“Mostly education because I think we have a lot of people here who have ideas about what they want to do, but they don’t really know a lot of specifics about what’s in each branch and what each branch actually does. What their jobs are. What their details are,” explained Yurek. “Today is just that opportunity to visit with those representatives and get a broader education on these things that might interest us or that we can see ourselves doing for our careers.”
“I’m a nursing major, so I want to do nursing corps, but I didn’t really know what my life would look like post-graduation,” continued Yurek. “So, I really took advantage of our nursing representative in the nursing corps tent. She told us what our lives would look like in the first couple of years and even after that if we want to specialize.”
After a moment of reflection, Cadets offered their take on the events of Branch Orientation as well as advice for CST overall.
“Have fun with it,” said Cadet Logan Nelson, University of Central Florida. “It’s what you make of it and the more you volunteer and the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.”