On June 10th, 2021, First Regiment Cadets arrived at the Land Navigation (Land Nav) site, ready and prepared to tackle the Day Land Nav course at Fort Knox, Ky.
Lt. Col. Kraig Kline, chief of the Land Nav committee, is responsible for preparing the course beforehand and supporting Cadets during the training event. “We give Cadets a certain number of points,” said Kline. “Cadets take their protractor and compass and figure out, after they have plotted the points, how to actually get to that point on the ground.”
Kline compares the exercise to a ”treasure quest.” He says they’re similar, however, instead of searching for treasure chests of jewels and gold, a Cadet’s quest is to find their points on the Land Navigation course at Fort Knox, Ky.
Cadets are given four hours to find four assigned points. To pass the event, they must find at least three points. Successfully passing this event is a graduation requirement for Advanced Camp.
Land Nav may be more difficult for some Cadets, depending on how much practice they are able to get prior to attending Advanced Camp. However, they attend a Land Nav Refresher course the day before this training event.
“They go out and are supposed to find two points, and they have two hours to do that,” Kline elaborated. “Then, they come back in and we evaluate their performance.” The course is there to ensure that Cadets have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the terrain of Fort Knox and get some extra practice in before going out the next day for the Day Land Nav course.
For Cadet Raphael Sanvictores, being a part of the National Guard has given him the opportunity to practice and become proficient in Land Nav. More specifically, he serves as a Platoon Leader for his unit, 1st Squadron, 18th Cavalry Regiment, and has conducted multiple training reconnaissance missions with his platoon. Having this prior experience helped him feel more prepared for the Land Nav portion of Advanced Camp.
Sanvictores is a Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) Cadet at San Diego State University; this means that he is enlisted in the National Guard and attends drill, while also fulfilling his responsibilities as an ROTC Cadet.
“It’s like a treasure hunt for me, really,” said Sanvictores. “I like the mystery factor. I just enjoy the adventure of it all.”