FORT KNOX, Ky. – 4th Regiment, Basic Camp Cadets conducted a Field Training Exercise (FTX) July 29, during Cadet Summer Training.
An FTX is the most crucial aspect of a training cycle. This event is the assessment phase of training and allows the instructors to see what their trainees have learned.
MS3 Leader Trainer (Cadre) Dakota DeSantis, from Saint Louis University, said, “This training is important to give them a little taste of what Cadet Summer Training is like and what Advance Camp is going to be like.”
Cadets will conduct movement to contact, engage in attacks on opposition forces, and defend their base as Cadre periodically probe the defenses of their patrol base each night.
During this training the Cadets also check mock enemy prisoners of war for information and learn how to stabilize potentially life-ending wounds both on themselves and their fellow Cadets.
Cadet Sebastian Rodriguez, University of Puerto Rico, comments on the event with a smile, “This training is the most efficient hands on training the Army can provide. We get out into the field and put into practice all we have learned.”
For many the FTX is the first time they have slept outside, for others it’s the first time sleeping without a tent.
And for others still, it reinforces their desire to become an Army Officer.
Cadet Konrad Michalak, from Eastern Illinois University, said, “I think this training is very important. I’ve never done something like this before. We are learning to work with a team or squad and conduct ambushes, now I want this (the Army) to be a career.”
Cadets were glowing with wide smiles as they scanned the forest for potential opposing forces. Michalak smiled and said, “Sometimes I swear, I see them (OPFOR) in the trees.”
The Cadets may not realize this yet, but this training is just one small step in the right direction on their paths to being future leaders.