A big talking point at Cadet Summer Training is how to communicate with one another. There is no such thing as a single-person squad, and Cadets going through the program must learn how to effectively communicate with each other, or else risk failure in the field. The situational training exercise (STX) the Cadets go through at Fort Knox aim to test just that, with freshly formed squads being required to scout or capture objectives within a time frame.
Cadet Jordan McIntyre from Michigan State University was part of a squad participating in the drills that day.
“Our first one that we’ve done today is an attack and then we went into a hasty defense after,” said McIntyre. “We were also just trying to figure it out, see how each other work.”
Ronald Williams from Howard University was also participating in the same drill, working with Mcintyre and the rest of the squad in order to complete the exercise.
“I think it went fairly well, but we had two casualties,” said Williams. “You don’t really want to lose people but the plan was solid, the timing was solid, but we still had time afterwords. Maybe we should have taken some more of that time and just did more planning on what to do if and what to do if not, and getting everybody on the same page on exactly what the plan is.”
While their squad completed the objective, there is always room for improvement, and McIntyre thought that the squad’s room for growth was with their communication.
“We cleared [that] up in the conversation we had after, just be a little bit more vocal with each other,” said McIntyre. “Be a little bit more direct, you know, make sure we’re getting that back and forth, calling out to each other during our execution.”
Williams agreed with the assessment on the importance of communication for their squad to be successful in their future endeavors.
“Get communication with movement, communication with initiation, and communication after you get all of the objective,” said Williams.
After reflecting on the training, McIntyre had high hopes regarding how they would perform at later drills.
“Overall, we were adaptable and flexible and I think it went really well,” said McIntyre. “Afterwards, breaking it down with each other, we got a better idea of how we want to operate in the future.”
The Cadets’ squad took valuable lessons from their first STX mission of the day.
I think we’re going to get smoother and smoother,” said Williams.