FORT KNOX, Ky. – While absorbed in lively conversation, 2nd Regiment Cadets’ Noah Scott from Norwich University, Kyle Sopplar from Clarkson University, and Hannah Yun from Loyola University of Chicago put on their camouflage in an attempt to blend in with the rest of the forest during their situational training exercise at Fort Knox, Ky., June 23, 2023.

Cadets’ Hannah Yun from University of Loyola of Chicago (left), Kyle Soppar from Clarkson University, and Noah Scott from Norwich University, wait for directions from their squad leader during the situation training exercise at Fort Knox, Ky., June 23, 2023. These 2nd Regiment Cadets are looking forward to completing the 12-mile ruck march together at the end of Advanced Camp. | Photo by Kate Koennecke, Ohio State University, CST Public Affairs Office

Yun said she is ‘shocked’ by how close she has gotten with her fellow ‘teammates’ in such a short period of time.

“We’ve all met each other two weeks ago, and I think I’m just surprised by how easy it was for us to get to know each other and get along,” Yun said.

Despite coming from different levels of experience, these 2nd Regiment teammates have been able to find common ground during Advanced Camp. Cadet Noah Scott said his team’s dynamic as ‘a mix’ of both prior enlisted and ROTC Cadets.

“Our team brings a good balance between the ROTC life and what the actual military teaches.” Scott said, “For the most part, our camaraderie and our teamwork has been very fluid and safe.”  

During STX, the Cadets start the wolverine phase, or the first phase of their mission, on ‘the same playing field’ said Maj. Jonathan Kirkland from the University of North Georgia. Kirkland said that within STX lies a bigger goal than just being able to properly conduct an attack.

A member of the Cadre pretends to be an injured oppositional force soldier during the situation training exercise at Fort Knox, Ky., June 23, 2023. During STX, Advanced Camp Cadets complete a series of attack missions.

Kirkland explained, “Understanding the tactics isn’t so much about grading them on their ability to conduct the attack. They need to understand the concepts so we can watch their leadership abilities, and they display those attributes in making variations.”

Having to make adaptations to previously learned technique can be ‘a handicap’ for those like Sopplar and Scott; both had previously served as enlisted soldiers in the Army. Sopplar has found that ‘letting go’ of what he learned in the past, while working with ROTC Cadets like Yun, has helped him become a better leader.

“For anybody who has prior military just to come here with an open mind. There’s always something more to learn,” Sopplar recommended. “If we want to be better leaders, we always need to be open to learning.”

Yun described the team’s combined knowledge as her ‘greatest surprise’ of Advanced Camp. The trio is looking forward to completing the 12-mile ruck march together as a team. Until then, they will all continue to motivate each other throughout the upcoming phases of their mission.

About the Author: Kate Koennecke
Kate Koennecke
Kate Koennecke is a rising junior at The Ohio State University double-majoring in Political Science and Strategic Communications. This summer, Koennecke will be working as a Public Affairs Intern, covering events throughout Cadet Summer Training this summer as a Photojournalist. Koennecke has had many experiences working in the public sphere, including interning for the Ohio Statehouse for the Ohio Democratic Caucus in the Senate in the fall of 2022. Once this summer comes to an end, Koennecke hopes to take back her knowledge of Public Affairs back to the Buckeye state with her.