FORT KNOX Ky. – Cadets from 6th Regiment, Advanced Camp, completed the Field Leadership Reaction Course at Fort Knox, Ky., July 7, 2023. 

Cadet Angel Colon-Morales, Puerto Rico University, 6th Regiment, Advanced Camp shouts directions to his squad while completing the Field Leader Reaction Course at Fort Knox, Ky., July 7, 2023. FLRC challenges Cadets to adapt and overcome each obstacle through teamwork and communication. Photo by Rosalita Mitchell, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

FLRC is an obstacle course designed to challenge and grow the Cadets’ teamwork, communication, and critical thinking skills.

“The squad grows stronger knowing what our flaws and our strengths are, when to listen to each other, and how to put into action every kind of plan,” said Cadet Angel Colon-Morales, Puerto Rico University. “FLRC can test you out. It shows whether you are a good listener, a good leader, and if you know how to work [on] a team or just as a solo player.”

Cadets during Cadet Summer Training, also known as CST, are regularly expected to step up and show their ability to lead a team in high-stress environments. FLRC allows Cadets to address challenges safely and effectively, so they can be better prepared for future missions.

“I think that [the] FLRC helps our communication, especially when going to the field because sometimes we’ll get very frustrated and not know how to do something,” said Cadet Jillian Hall, Virginia Military Institute. “When you’re in a squad leader position, you’re there to lead and when you’re a follower, you’re there to follow. I think that’s important to know your position when you are appointed in one and just be a good teammate.”

To successfully pass each obstacle during FLRC, teamwork and sharing a common goal are key elements that each squad needs. Bonding with battle buddies during CST allows Cadets to create the connections that foster growth individually and as a squad.

Cadet Jillian Hall, Virginia Military Institute, 6th Regiment, Advanced Camp works with a rope and carabiner while completing the Field Leader Reaction Course at Fort Knox, Ky., July 7, 2023. FLRC challenges Cadets to adapt and overcome each obstacle through teamwork and communication. Photo by Rosalita Mitchell, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

“My favorite part is just bonding with my squad and getting to know everybody,” Hall said. “If we did [FLRC] on day one, we wouldn’t have been able to do it correctly or efficiently. I think our bond helps us get through a lot more easily.”

Colon-Morales and his fellow squad members have only known each other for two weeks. He mentions that they already feel like a family, because of the challenges and events during CST, that have forced them to work together and communicate.

“I feel like we’ve clicked like a family. We joke with each other, we have fun together, and it’s like we’ve known each other for years,” Colon-Morales said. “There’s been such a stable connection. It’s my turn to use the fears and all the worries and turn them into strengths to motivate ourselves together.”

The lessons learned and connections created during CST, and cultivated throughout FLRC, will remain relevant and useful in achieving each of the Cadet’s future goals.

“Knowing how to work with a team now will impact the future because I will know when to listen to my teammates, when to input information, and what is the best course of action to be taken,” Colon-Morales said. “Learning how to work at a smaller scale, can most definitely translate into a bigger scale or to a bigger group of people.”

After completing multiple assignments successfully with her teammates, Hall wanted to give a piece of advice to future Cadets who may be worried about camp.

“Future Cadets, don’t do ordinary,” Hall said. “Be here, come to play, and be a teammate. That’s all you need.”