FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets of the 5th Regiment of Basic Camp were introduced to battle drills in preparation for their upcoming Field Training Exercise (FTX).
Cadets started in a classroom setting, Cadre drawing battle drills on paper like plays on a whiteboard in a basketball game.
They then moved out into the field, putting their newfound skills to the test; drill after drill after drill, the Cadets practiced flanking maneuvers and battle tactics.
Cadre Strive to Help
The Cadets are taught by a wide variety of people, enlisted and commissioned alike.
“The lieutenants are super helpful,” Cadet Emily Stinner, from Grayslake, Illinois, said. “They just went through Advanced Camp, they know everything. Every question we have, they’ve been able to answer.”
A graduate student at the University of Oklahoma, Stinner said her home university offers plenty of FTX opportunities, but being able to do it on such a large scale at Cadet Summer Training has been extremely beneficial.
Cadet Michael Vannote, a Bayville, New Jersey native, just graduated high school and is getting ready to start his first semester at Valley Forge Military Academy. He has also found the Cadre and their help to be very advantageous.
“The best assistance from the lieutenants is just the way they’re motivating you to keep going,” Vannote said.
Vannote added that it’s nice to get genuine advice from the Cadre when he makes a mistake, rather than the corrective discipline they receive from their drill sergeants.
Some Cadets who are new to the military found the Cadre’s advice useful for reasons bigger than camp.
“Honestly, they’re [the Cadre] able to answer our questions about what we want to do within the future, the different branches we’re going to go into,” Cadet Jaret Gallops, a native of Wetumpka, Alabama, said.
The Jacksonville State University student spent four years toying with the idea of enlisting before joining ROTC in May of this year. Being so new to the program, the Cadre’s answers certainly come in handy for Gallops, who says they’re always “pretty spot on.”
More to Come
Beginning basic battle drills is only the start of the Cadets’ time in the field.
“All of out classwork that was building up, we’re finally getting to do and its fun being in a real field environment,” Stinner said.
From those drills that Stinner and her squad were starting in the field, the Cadets will move onto real missions in the FTX.
The field offers them the opportunity to fill different leadership positions; each aspect of the field has different benefits, and leadership is only one. Each new skill they gain while in the FTX is a new benefit they’ve earned, fair and square.
As the Cadets move further into their time in the field, they’ll discover more of those different aspects and gain those different benefits.