4th Regiment Cadets were seen emerging from deep in the woods for refit day on the morning of July 5, 2021, in Fort Knox, Ky. Refit serves as a break day for Cadets completing their Field Training Exercise (FTX). Cadets are able to wash their uniforms, hang out in air-conditioned tents, and spend some time out of the field.

“It gives us a chance to rest our feet a little bit and rehydrate. We should be getting a hot meal tonight which is really exciting after eating MRE’s all the time in the field,” said Cadet Alexandra Bisaccia, Siena College.

Cadets smile on their way to the shower trailer on refit day after completing the panther phase of their Field Training Exercise (FTX). Fort Knox, Ky., July 5, 2021. | Photo by Olivia Van Den Heuvel, CST Public Affairs

4th Regiment completed the panther phase of FTX and will be moving into the last and most difficult phase, grizzly. This refit day served as a transition between the two phases, allowing Cadets to prepare for their new leadership roles. During refit, Cadre also review their squad’s progress and Cadets conduct peer evaluations.

“Refit day is just a good time, it feels like you’re getting back to the normal human things,” said Cadet Dorilyn Castillo, University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez.

For most, the best part of refit is a shower complete with running water, a luxury compared to the baby wipes that Cadets usually use to keep clean in the field. They also receive their refit bags, which often contain a clean uniform, shower shoes and anything they may need to head back into the field the next day.

Cadet Daisy Montalvo, Texas A&M University, walks to the shower trailer holding a change of clothes and toiletries during Refit. Fort Knox, Ky., July 5, 2021. | Photo by Olivia Van Den Heuvel, CST Public Affairs

Cadets of 4th Regiment were all smiles as they waited in long lines for their turn to shower in designated trailers, many with day-old camouflage paint still on their faces.

“My favorite song to sing in the shower? Probably Sweet Home Alabama because it’s been on my mind recently,” said Bisaccia.

“I’ll sing anything by Katy Perry,” laughed Cadet Nicole Fandika, Prairie View A&M University.

Refit days aren’t the only time you’ll hear Cadets singing. For many, music is what keeps them close, and helps them through tough times in the field.

“We sing, not only in the shower, but we sing as a platoon. Everyone will just start singing,” said Castillo.

“It brings that smile out of everyone and just distracts us,” said Fandika.

This will be the last refit day for 4th Regiment as they finish up FTX and trek 12 miles back to their barracks. From there, they will graduate Cadet Summer Training and be one step closer to becoming 2nd Lieutenants in the U.S. Army.