Land navigation is one of the skills taught at Cadet Summer Training (CST) at Fort Knox, Ky., but DePaul University Army ROTC Green to Gold Cadet Ryan Russett, 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, had prior experience that made this challenging event easier. “I applied my points really quickly” he said, and then, “I just picked the shortest path which was — to the south first.” 

Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet Ryan Russett, 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, from DePaul University, makes his way back to the start area to have his points checked during the land navigation exercise at Fort Knox, Ky., June 16, 2022. As a prior enlisted Soldier, Russet breezed through plotting his points and found the three points he needed to complete the event. | Photo by Savannah Baird, CST Public Affairs Office

Russett is from Chicago, where his program honed his navigation skills further as a Green to Gold Cadet. To his advantage, the ROTC program at his university comes to Fort Knox to do their Field Training Exercises (FTX). 

“This is my third or fourth time on this course, so I’m generally use to this,” said Russett. 

Another advantage that helped him during the event was the practice he had during his prior enlisted service. Russett was stationed at Fort Drum, in New York, for three and a half years where he earned the rank of Sergeant. There, his commander told him that he had what it took to become an officer. This and the fact that he really enjoys land navigation inspired him to begin the process to commission, “this is really fun for me,” he said. 

It was during his time in Afghanistan that he received his scholarship to go Green to Gold and become a commissioned officer. 

Though Russett enjoys the process of navigation, his ultimate goal is to use his skills and enter the concentrated field of cybersecurity for the Army like his brother did. 

About the Author: Savannah Baird
Savannah Baird
Savannah Baird is a recent graduate from Ball State University, back for her second term as a U.S. Army Cadet Command PAO intern. Baird graduated with a degree in photojournalism and hopes to use her experience as a PAO intern, and covering other miscellaneous Army events, to begin her career in military photojournalism after the summer.