5th Regiment Cadets completed their training on the rappel tower and confidence obstacle course at Fort Knox, Ky., June 30, 2022. 

For some Cadets this training is difficult due to a fear of heights. 

Cadet Klaudia Abbott, from Slippery Rock University, said her biggest fear is heights. She said she was nervous just looking at some of the obstacles in the course. 

U.S. Army Cadet Klaudia Abbott with 5th Regiment, Advanced Camp, prepares to rappel down the open side of the rappel tower at Fort Knox, Ky., June 30, 2022. Lane safeties encouraged and instructed Cadets, so they could rappel off the tower safely. | Erinn Finley, CST Public Affairs Office.

“When we were walking through getting briefed on each one, I was just like, my jaw was open,” Abbott said. “I was just looking at it like ‘oh boy, how am I going to do this?’ and then with the help of everyone else cheering me on, I was like ‘let’s do it’.” 

Abbott said she felt more confident after completing the day’s training. 

“I did it and I overcame it,” Abbott said. “I can’t say I would probably willingly do this again. I do feel a little more confident. I mean, morale was pretty high after everyone completed this.”

Abbott mentioned the importance of teamwork, which helped her get through the training. 

“If they weren’t here right now, I don’t know if I would be down here or if I would still be up there panicking because I cried on every single one of them [the obstacles], but with the help of them [her squad], I was able to suck up the tears and get down,” Abbott said. 

Cadet Dreyson Hill, from Valley Forge Military College, was the squad leader for Abbott’s squad. He said being the squad leader today was a new challenge for him, but he got to encourage his team during the training. 

U.S. Army Cadet Dreyson Hill with 5th Regiment, Advanced Camp, acts as a safety for a fellow Cadet while on the confidence obstacle course at Fort Knox, Ky., June 30, 2022. Cadets worked to keep each other safe as they completed the taller obstacles. | Erinn Finley, CST Public Affairs Office.

“I made a little friendly competition, I split up my two teams like ‘let’s race the obstacle course, and that was fun.” Hill said. “Then as people got on things that they might not be so comfortable with, I did my best to encourage them and get them through it.” 

Hill emphasized how crucial teamwork was for the day’s training.

“Teamwork is super important,” Hill said. “In the Army as a whole, but with what we’re doing today on the obstacle course and rappel tower, I mean, I don’t think we could do it without each other.” 

Hill said teamwork is important both for safety, and motivation. 

“I know, even me, there was one thing that got me and my team got me through it,” Hill said. 

For many Cadets completing the rappel tower and obstacle course boosts their morale and confidence, readying them for the next steps in their training. 

“Now that everybody’s done with it, I feel like everyone’s in a good, happy mood, ready to take on whatever else,” Abbott said. 

About the Author: Erinn Finley
Erinn Finley
Erinn Finley is a senior at Murray State University majoring in journalism. She enjoys writing, reading, travel and photography. She worked for the student newspaper at her campus to further her writing skills outside of the classroom. During the Cadet Summer Training internship, she hopes to further her photography and writing skills.