Basic Camp Cadets packed their rucks and went out to their Field Training Exercise (FTX) during Cadet Summer Training (CST) at Fort Knox, Ky., July 17, 2022. 

FTX is done at a smaller scale when compared to Advanced Camp, because for some Cadets this could be a new experience being out in the field. Missions for the Basic Camp Cadets include ambush, attack, and movement to contact. 

Cadets of 1st Regiment, Basic Camp, practice squad level tactics during their Field Training Exercise (FTX) during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky., July 17, 2022. Cadets practiced at squad size levels at Basic Camp, then move on to platoon sized tactics when they attend Advanced Camp.

2nd Lt. Cole Arbaugh, Task Force Badger Cadre, went through CST last summer and returns as Cadre for Basic Camp Cadets. As a future Military Intelligence officer with a branch detail Infantry, the lieutenant helps to break down tactics for the underclassmen Cadets. 

“For the Basic Camp FTX they are in the field for two days versus the twelve days that Advanced Camp is going through,” said Arbaugh. “Theirs is more of a crawl, walk, run phase while at Advanced Camp it can get pretty intense at times. But we try to keep it pretty simple – this is a much more simplified version of Advanced Camp.”

2nd Lt. Azagio Herd, also Task Force Badger Cadre, talked about how Basic Camp Cadets are getting in helpful practice that can help build a solid foundation for when they return to their universities for their junior year, also known as their evaluation year before Advanced Camp.

“This is practice for Advanced Camp – it’s a little smaller scale. So instead of working with platoons, they’re working with squads, that way they can hone their skills, said Herd. “They are in charge of 9-10 people instead of being in charge of 40, usually a platoon size level, that way they can get familiar with it.” 

Cadet Samantha Munchbach, Morehead State University, receives information of the distance, direction, and number of enemies from her team leader during a rehearsal at Cadet Summer Training, Fort Knox, Ky., July 17, 2022. Rehearsals were done to ensure everyone in the squad knows where and what they should be doing while moving and actions on the objective.

Working at a this size scale has helped the Basic Camp Cadets grasp the roles of smaller, but crucial leadership roles such as a squad leader. Cadet Samantha Munchbach of Morehead State University served as a squad leader for a movement to contact mission. Given information that they needed to seize terrain from the enemy and gain control of it, Munchbach took guidance from her peers and took on the objective. 

“Today I learned how to complete movement to contact. Prior to this I knew how to do it, but I was very confused on how to execute it specifically as a squad leader because I understood the roles of Alpha (team) and Bravo (team),” said Muchbach. “But I didn’t understand the role of squad leader so I kind of got thrown into it and I definitely tried my best.” 

Muchbach along with other Basic Camp Cadets will have the advantage of learning these tactics at a squad sized level, that way they can crawl, walk, and run with their platoons to the finish line one year from now at Advanced Camp.

About the Author: Amy Turner