FORT KNOX, KY. – “ I, myself, can see change in me just about how much more confident I am and how, how confident I am as a leader and how I talk and help delegate missions…” said Cadet Emma Haynes, University of Dayton.

Haynes reflected on her transformation following a Field Training Exercise (FTX) mission on Aug 2, for her 5thRegiment Basic Camp.

5th Regiment Basic Camp Cadets strategize their plan for their next mission during the Field Training Exercise, Aug 2, at Fort Knox, Ky. | Photo by Catrina Dubiansky, CST Public Affairs Office

During the FTX the Cadets simulated an ambush and then reacted to enemy contact, all under the watchful eye of their Cadre. While the Cadre teach proper techniques, there is another layer of expertise that ensures the missions are executed correctly. Recent Advance Camp graduate, Cadet Russell Flade, now assists Cadre as an MS3 trainer.

Flade imparts to the basic camp Cadets that service is more than a paycheck.

“What I hope they get out of this is that they realize that if they are in here doing this for the money then they shouldn’t be here, because its not about the money…what the Army is to me is, it’s a family, it’s a brotherhood, it’s a sisterhood. We have to learn how to take care of each other, and I’m hoping that everyone here sees that and starts to realize it’s not for the money. You don’t do this for the money, you do this because you want to do this, you want to be here, and that’s what I really hope they do get out of this,” Russell Flade, Middle Tennessee State University.

The FTX is important because the Cadets apply what they have learned to a simulated combat patrol. It allows them to make mistakes and truly understand what it is like to work as a team in an unconventional setting. While Cadets learn tactical skills they also learn a lot about themselves and grow as individuals and leaders.

5th Regiment, Basic Camp Cadet Jonathan Felter, Valley Forge Military Academy and College, waits for contact from the OPFOR during the Field Training Exercise, Aug 2, at Fort Knox, Ky. |Photo by Catrina Dubiansky, CST Public Affairs Office

“I have learned that even as the youngest person here by far I am able to lead just as well as my peers here and it definitely helps with confidence during leadership,” Said Cadet Jonathan Felter, Valley Forge Military college

After only a few days out in the field 5thRegiment Basic Camp Cadets are already gaining knowledge, self-growth and continue to stay motivated and prepare for the future.

“…with that motivation and dedication or the heart to do it then there should be no reason you should be doing anything else,” Said Cadet Oscar Gonzales, Sam Houston State University.