FORT KNOX, Ky., – Cadets from 2nd Regiment, Advanced Camp, spent the day planning and executing field training exercises during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky., June 26, 2023. Cadets will spend a total of 12 days in the field where they will sleep in the woods, test their leadership abilities and run missions like ambushes, raids, attacks, defense, reconnaissance and movement to contact. Cadet Madeline Bryan, Loyola University Chicago, and her platoon executed an attack on an objective. “Everybody communicated with me effectively,” Bryan said. “I got on the objective, I knew I had to shoot, I posted the […]
FORT KNOX, Ky., – Cadets from 2nd Regiment, Advanced Camp, spent the day planning and executing field training exercises during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky., June 26, 2023.
Cadets will spend a total of 12 days in the field where they will sleep in the woods, test their leadership abilities and run missions like ambushes, raids, attacks, defense, reconnaissance and movement to contact.
Cadet Madeline Bryan, Loyola University Chicago, and her platoon executed an attack on an objective.
“Everybody communicated with me effectively,” Bryan said. “I got on the objective, I knew I had to shoot, I posted the objective, and I made it happen.”
The highlight of camp, and FTX, is the people according to Bryan. The Cadets face both hot and sometimes rainy weather conditions together.
“The people are definitely the best part, making connections, building bonds, with people from all over the country,” Bryan said. “You get to know people in a way that other people don’t get to know them; the people make it worth it because we’re all embracing the suck together.”
Bryan joined the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps for her own development and experience.
“I think the Army offers a lot of opportunities for experience,” Bryan said. “I knew that this was a leadership program where I could become a better person, and develop myself and become the person that I know I can be.”
Bryan’s dad was an officer in the Army for 20 years, but she originally planned to stay clear of the Army because of the large impact it had on her family’s life.
“Then, when it came down to it, I was like, this might actually be a good opportunity for me,” Bryan said.
Bryan’s dad helped her with her ROTC questions, but he never pushed her to serve.
Bryan is currently studying criminal justice at LUC with a minor in Spanish. Her goal is to work in a career where she inspires and helps others.
“I love leading people and having an influence on people’s lives,” Bryan said. “I see myself working with children in the future because I think our children need more help than anybody.”
Bryan believes serving in the Army is a good opportunity for her future.
“I think that the Army offers a great stepping stool for me to develop my leadership ability because I use a lot of the same strategies with my peers being in leadership that I do with kids,” Bryan said. “I want to use the Army as a way to get experience in leadership positions, stressful situations, how to work with people, handle people, help people and then, use that as a building block to my next steps.”
Bryan will graduate in May of 2024 where she plans to go active duty for at least six years. When those six years are up, she plans to go into the Army Reserve and work in juvenile justice, but she is open to any path that her future career takes.
Cadet Jenna Lankford, University of South Alabama, also hopes to serve active duty in the Army when she graduates in May of 2024.
Lankford is currently studying biology with the goal of going to dental school and then, becoming a dentist in the Army.
“I would love to be [an] active-duty dentist for a while,” Lankford said. “Really, I just want to help people, I want to do what I can to make a difference in someone else’s life.”
Lankford’s original career plan was to enlist right after high school, but she decided to pursue a college education first.
“I was able to obtain [an Army ROTC] scholarship, so it kind of set me up for success in the future,” Lankford said. “I really wanted to give back to my country in any way that I could, and I wanted to do something that mattered to others. I saw the Army as a good way to do that.”
When it comes to the FTX, Lankford has enjoyed spending time with her platoon.
“We have a really good platoon,” Lankford said. “That’s a big part of getting through a lot of issues, so I think it’s going pretty well and only going to get better.”
Lankford said she has learned a lot from her peers throughout Advanced Camp.
“The highlight of camp, for me, is being around these people from different backgrounds [and] different schools,” Lankford said. “You get to experience different techniques and ways of doing things that you’ve never seen before and figure out which way you like best, which is really eye opening in this type of environment.”
Cadets practice their tactics during FTX and exercise their leadership skills in a combat-like environment.
Bryan and Lankford are one step closer to pursuing their dreams of helping people by serving in the Army as future second lieutenants. The FTX is one of the last major events the Cadets will go through. After the 12 days of the FTX are up, Cadets will march 12 miles back to the CST complex.