4th Regiment Cadets completed their chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear training and testing at Fort Knox, Ky., on June 15, 2022.
The training is part of Cadet Summer Training. It involved a safety brief, classes, tests, and then a short time in the confidence chamber. In the chamber, Cadets are exposed to CS gas. They have to perform several small exercises while wearing their masks. Then, they remove their masks.
Many Cadets feel nervous when thinking about entering the confidence chamber. For these Cadets, their squad and platoon can be a source of encouragement and motivation.
Cadet Hunter Cashmer from Clarion University said the chamber was very different from anything else he has experienced.
“I was a little nervous at first, but everyone in my squad and platoon was in good spirits, so it went pretty easy,” Cashmer said. “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”
The confidence chamber training allows Cadets to see how effective their equipment is in a chemical environment.
Cadet Daniela McCurdy from Millersville University said she felt uncertain about going into the chamber.
“I was actually really really scared going in, I was so nervous because I’m not prior enlisted or anything,” McCurdy said. “It’s my first time doing something like this, but really, when I got inside it was pretty fun.”
McCurdy also said the CBRN training helped her platoon grow closer.
Cadets at CST come from various backgrounds and have different career goals both in the Army and in their civilian fields.
Cashmer, a criminal justice major, said he wants to enter federal service or a state police academy.
While in the Army, Cashmer wants to go into aviation and become a helicopter pilot. Cashmer said he got to ride in a Black Hawk during his training and it sparked his interest in aviation.
McCurdy said she wants to branch Public Affairs during her career in the Army. She is also considering going to medical school later and working in medicine once her contract is finished with the Army.
CBRN training and the confidence chamber provides Cadets with a good opportunity to grow closer to their peers, trust their equipment and learn the necessary skills to protect themselves in dangerous environments.