FORT KNOX, Ky. – Squads of Bravo Company’s 1st Platoon Cadets from 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp, took turns playing the role of either medic or radio personnel during Tactical Combat Casualty Care training at Fort Knox, Ky., June 24, 2023. Within their squads, Cadets practiced the standard procedures they would use to check over a casualty in the event of a real-life emergency.

Advanced Camp Cadets from 3rd Regiment complete Tactical Combat Casualty Care training at Fort Knox, Ky., June 24, 2023. During TCCC, Cadets learn about the standard procedures and practices they would use in the event of a medical emergency involving a casualty. | Photo by Kate Koennecke, Ohio State University, CST Public Affairs Office

Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Seys from California State University Fullerton explained that this training event is designed to encourage Cadets to learn ‘the building blocks’ of first aid without applying too much pressure on them.

“The Army has done an incredible job of revamping and focusing on the things that allow for the preservation of life,” Seys said.  “We feel that if we create a learning environment that’s low stress, then it should pay its dividends exponentially when it comes to their leadership capabilities, and the decisions they make.”

No matter how serious the training may be, this platoon believes that their strong morale cannot be matched.

“We have the highest morale out of everyone that we’ve encountered so far during camp,” stated Cadet Peyton Bruce from Wheaton College.

While in between practice repetitions, Bruce played around with Ranger Randy, the mock injured Soldier, making his fellow squad members burst into laughter. Cadet Zach Rushing from the University of Alabama believes that the ‘great chemistry’ he has with Cadets like Bruce has made his Advanced Camp experience worthwhile.

Cadets’ Peyton Bruce (left) and Zach Rushing from the 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp, practice checking over a simulated casualty during Tactical Combat Casualty Care training at Fort Knox, Ky., June 24, 2023. Bruce and Rushing enjoy discussing college football together in their free time, and have become close friends during Advanced Camp. | Photo by Kate Koennecke, Ohio State University, CST Public Affairs Office

Bruce and Rushing’s newfound friendship, along with the other relationships they have made within their squad, have flourished not only because of their shared love of football, but also because of their individual differences.

“Our differences bring us together. If everyone was the same in our squad, it would get really repetitive and boring,” Bruce said. “Everybody has different backgrounds and different attributes that they can bring to the fight.”

Cadet David Hendrickson from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, who is in the same platoon as Bruce and Rushing, believes his platoon’s teamwork skills are what keeps morale high.

While waiting to practice properly placing a tourniquet on Ranger Randy, Hendrickson explained that as somebody who served as a signal’s intelligence officer for the National Guard, he learned to be social while at Advanced Camp and has been surprised by the close bond he has formed with the rest of his squad.

Hendrickson said, “In the military, you encounter a lot of terrible, terrible situations. You can’t complain to higher ups, but if you complain to your friend, they might make a joke and make you laugh. You know they have your back, and although it may be a crazy situation, we’re all here to support each other.”

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.