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Video by Carley Stone, Cadet Summer Training Public Affairs Office

“The Confidence Course, also known as the obstacle course, is just an opportunity for the Cadets to negotiate different obstacles to build confidence with themselves, to build camaraderie, to build team work and to overcome some fears that one would normally associate with heights,” said Sgt. 1st Class Obie Carswell. He is the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) for the Confidence Course and an instructor for MSII and MSIII classes at Vanderbilt University, assigned to 7th Brigade Cadet Command.

Cadet Amayia Rhodes, a student at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff from Crenshaw, MS, navigating through the Weaver obstacle during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, KY, June 5, 2021. | Photo by Shianne Taylor, CST Public Affairs office

For Cadet Amayia Rhodes, a student at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the confidence course is reflection of what she’s gained from Army ROTC – an opportunity to better herself

“Becoming a better leader,” Rhodes said was part of the reason why she joined Army ROTC. “And showing people from my community that we can also make it out, and there is a way out, and we can do anything we put our minds to do.”

Rhodes has four years of prior service as a 12W, carpentry and masonry specialist.

Rhodes is from Crenshaw, Mississippi, a small town that is less than a half a square mile with a population of only 829. Many graduate high school, but most don’t get the opportunity to attend or graduate college. Rhodes wants her story to be an inspiration for her community to show them they can also have the same opportunity.

Cadets listening to the Tough One obstacle instructor on how to do it during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, KY, June 5, 2021. | Photo by Shianne Taylor, CST Public Affairs office

The advice Rhodes would give to the later regiments is the same as she would give to her community, “Whatever you put your mind to you can do it as long as you keep trying and never give up.”

Though, confidence is key, it also allows Cadets to see, “What we can accomplish in the Army, and in our personal lives…,” said Cadet Josue Trinta, student from the University of Puerto Rico.

Physical agility and mental toughness is also important when taking on, not only this course, but ROTC as well.

Advanced camp is 38 days long and building relationships is the best way to keep confidence and motivation.

“Trust in your battle buddies, have a good connection, have a good friendship among their selves,” said Trinta. “This is a team effort so being alone won’t be enough to accomplish graduation.”

Be prepared to come to Advanced Camp and be challenged. The Confidence Course is just one training event that the Cadets get to experience. Carswell explained that depending on what route cadets are going in the Army, this course could set them up for future success.

“If they have aspirations to attend air assault school, at air assault school you are required to negotiate the same obstacles,” said Carswell.