Sgt. 1st Class William Puthoff gives instruction to a Cadet from 1st Regiment, Basic Camp on technique for hand-release pushups, part of the Introduction to the Army Combat Fitness Test at Fort Knox, KY on July 5, 2021. | Photo by Griffin Amrein, CST Public Affairs.

Only ten days into Basic Camp, and 1st Regiment is beginning to adapt to life in the Army. It’s tough, but they are not alone.

On July 5, 2021, 1st Regiment took their introduction to the Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT. The ACFT is the Army’s new physical fitness assessment to determine a person’s general readiness for combat. It consists of six parts: deadlifts, hand-release pushups, a sprint-drag-carry, power throws, leg tucks, and finally a two-mile run.

This training created a stage to display a large part of life in the Army, which is the support and bonding from peers and leadership.

Chaplain (Capt.) Elisar Admon and Chaplain Candidate (2nd Lt.) Bradley DeRamus were assigned to 1st Regiment to support these Cadets in their journey through Basic Camp. Their job of counseling the Cadets is a service that isn’t well known, but is crucial nonetheless.

“Our mission is of course, to see them become leaders,” said DeRamus. “Leadership is being able to provide correction, motivation, and a purpose for them to improve an organization or to accomplish a mission.”

In addition to offering religious services, these Chaplains were people for Cadets to trust and look up to. Both men were wearing their Army PT (Physical Training) uniforms, and were doing the ACFT exercises right alongside them.

Chaplain (Capt.) Elisar Admon performs deadlifts during 1st Regiment, Basic Camp’s Introduction to the Army Combat Fitness Test at Fort Knox, KY on July 5, 2021. |Photo by Griffin Amrein, CST Public Affairs.

“We’re there. Whatever they need. This is our mission, and we want to help them,” said Admon. “For me, as a Chaplain, I want to see all of them graduate.”

Following in their example, these future leaders were quickly learning how to individually motivate each other after spending so much time together since arrival. Each station in their intro to ACFT was filled with Cadets shouting words of encouragement.

“Everyone always performs better when they do it as a team. Yes, this is an individual event, … but just like the Army, it takes a team. From what I’ve seen in Advanced Camp, many Cadets perform way better when they’re being encouraged by their peers,” said Capt. John Aguirre of the University of Cincinnati.

Aguirre went on to say that the Cadets made great students and paid attention properly, but it would be a long, rough road of physical training to pass the ACFT with flying colors.

Although they were simply learning about the event today, each Cadet put in real effort, and gained a better understanding of what is expected of them as officers.