After the long-awaited signal that the skies were clear of lightning, Cadets from 7th Regiment, Advanced Camp, stepped off and began their last graduation requirement for Cadet Summer Training, the 12-mile foot-march.
The 4-5 hour trek takes Cadets from training area Densberger and stretches through blocked off roads, leading Cadets back to their barracks.
As Cadet Elayna Snyder, Kansas State University, reached Brandenburg Gate, which is around the halfway point, she looked behind her and noticed Cadet Mya Walker, Florida A&M University, walking in the back of the formation.
“I knew she got injured a few days ago, so I knew she was gonna probably have a little harder time,” said Snyder. “Even when you’re on fresh legs, the 12-mile ruck is still 12 miles. I wanted to make sure she still felt like she was part of our platoon.”
Towards the front of the formation, Cadet Alvin Le, The Citadel Military College of South Carolina, carried the guidon through the finish line for the company.
“To me, it’s a symbol of inspiration and you follow it,” said the South Carolina Cadet. “When you see that guidon waving in the wind, it’s a morale boost and helps people push themselves a little harder because they see a representation of their unit.”
As his platoon grounded their rucksacks, they noticed another group shortly behind them approaching the finish line. Le and the platoon returned to the finish line to cheer on the other platoons, waving the guidon in the air while they all celebrated.
“As much as each one of us had their own story for this,” said Le. “We all came through this together.”