By: Anna Pray
Day Land Navigation did not start off well on the morning of June 16, 2021, but that did not stop 3rd Regiment Charlie Company 4th Platoon from finding an interesting way around that during their Cadet Summer Training Advanced Camp in Fort Knox, Ky.
After their safety briefing, the Cadre needed to find a tracking device that was given to one of the Cadets that no longer worked. This process ended up taking over an hour.
Rather than letting the anticipation of starting Land Navigation and the frustration of waiting ruin their day, one Cadet in particular decided to cheer up his fellow Cadets with a song.
“We were really anticipating starting at a certain time, but when we hit that bump in the road and they made us wait, it was a little off-putting to some of the people in my platoon,” said Cadet Joshua Orteza, from University of Florida. “I figured if I sang something, it would cheer them up and it really did. Then, there were other suggestions that came along and everyone started singing.”
The platoon sang songs like “Wagon Wheel,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “Lean on Me.”
“We focused on each other and the community that we have,” said Cadet Dalton Nunamaker, from Georgetown University, who was the Platoon Leader at the time. “I think that put a lot of people at ease and helped them flow into the course in a better mood.”
Another Cadet emphasized just how much the singing turned around the overall mood of the platoon, believing that if everyone feels good, they are more likely to do better at the Land Navigation test.
“When morale is high, you don’t want to bring yourself down,” said Cadet Emma Barton, from Syracuse University.
Barton finished the test with all four points found after about an hour and a half. Her advice?
“Come into this knowing your basics,” said Barton. “Nothing is more challenging than the basic skills of Land Navigation. I made a plan before I stepped out. I wrote out every detail of what I’m going to do when I’m out there. Like turn left at this point or look left.”
Nunamaker also wanted to share advice for Cadets who will later go through the Land Navigation test.
“Trust yourself, but still verify,” said Nunamaker. “I always double plot every point to make sure that it’s confirmed. If you think that’s it, trust yourself and trust your training. You’ve worked hard to be here.”