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1st Regiment takes First Round of COVID-19 Tests

Fort Knox, KY – 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp Cadets received their first round of COVID-19 tests as a starting point for their ten day controlled, monitored training period on May 24, 2021 at Fort Knox, KY. 

With COVID-19 still being a major concern for the country and the absence of in-person training during Summer 2020, the purpose of the testing is to ensure that Cadets are COVID-19 negative and can safely continue training without having to worry about the illness.

Trent Larson, a Cadet with the Alpha Company, 1st Regiment, finishes his first COVID-19 test of Advanced Camp on Ft. Knox, KY, on May 24, 2021. The testing is to ensure that incoming Cadets do not have COVID-19 and can continue training in a safe environment during Advanced Camp training. | Photo by Anna Pray, Cadet Summer Training Public Affairs Office

Cadets travel from all over the United States for Cadet Summer Training (CST), so it is essential to test each person to check that they did not end up sick with the illness after traveling. 

Cadets expressed their concerns and opinions about the testing and how it might affect CST.

“I do agree with the testing, I think it’s very beneficial,” said Cassie Hillman, a Delta Company, 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp Cadet from the University of New Hampshire. “Not everyone has been vaccinated yet, so I think it’s the best way to keep a safe environment for us.” 

“I think that it’s still good that they’re testing everybody,” said Shykeem Canty, a Cadet in Delta Company, 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp from the University of Alabama

After the initial COVID-19 screening, Cadets will continue to train during the first ten days in a controlled, monitored environment.  The environment is designed to minimize their contacts outside of their platoons and Cadre members but still provide them the required fundamentals they will need to complete the rest of Advanced Camp. 

Abbey Prescott, a Cadet with the Alpha Company, 1st Regiment, has her first COVID-19 test of Advanced Camp by the medical personnel testers on Ft. Knox, KY on May 24, 2021. The testing is to ensure that incoming Cadets do not have COVID-19 and can continue training in a safe environment during Advanced Camp training. | Photo by Anna Pray, Cadet Summer Training Public Affairs Office

“We actually changed some of the training around to ensure that they [Cadets] still get effective training.” said Sgt. 1st Class Crystal Merrell, from Fort Riley, KS. “The difference is, by COVID mitigating procedures, it’s really just spacing them out more, making sure they’re following the protocols.”

The Cadets will have their second COVID-19 test on the fifth or sixth day of their controlled monitored training, and if the tests come out negative, those cadets will continue with in-person training.