Scaling New Heights: Cadets Hope for Air Assault Success
Cadets Nina Huff, Loyola University Maryland, and Antonia Adipietro, Norwich University, from 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, compared their experience with the 64-foot rappel tower to their expectations for air assault school after camp at Fort Knox, Ky., June 28, 2023.
FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets Nina Huff, Loyola University Maryland, and Antonia Adipietro, Norwich University, from 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, compared their experience with the 64-foot rappel tower to their expectations for air assault school after camp at Fort Knox, Ky., June 28, 2023. Conquering the rappel tower is one of the first steps of building confidence for these two before attending air assault.
Air assault is an 11-day course that challenges Cadets physically and mentally. During the last phase of the course, Cadets are required to rappel out of a helicopter.
For Huff, her expectations are high, and she was happy to rappel for the first time ever today.
“I feel a lot more confident going into air assault school going down the tower twice,” Huff said. “I am very excited for the opportunity, and of course, there are nerves to it, but I trust myself that I’ll be able to persevere through anything and be successful.”
Adipietro, on the other hand, has had experience with heights last year when she attended airborne school and does not fear rappelling.
“At airborne, I was the first jumper for three out of my five jumps because I volunteered and was so excited,” Adipietro said. “I’ve also been skydiving before, so I really like heights, and I’m not afraid of rollercoasters or anything like that.”
Because of their future commitment of attending air assault, both of their attitudes motivated other Cadets at today’s event.
“I was just smiling and handing out high fives, and I think it really built some people up,” Adipietro said. “Hopefully, it gave them the confidence that they needed.”
Since the rappel tower is a mandatory event to pass at Advanced Camp, the Cadets afraid of heights need that extra boost of enthusiasm.
“After going down, my adrenaline was running so much,” Huff said. “I think I spread my positive energy to people around me because we were all successful going down.”
Huff and Adipietro are honored for the opportunity to take part in air assault school and feel that today was a fun way to be introduced to one of the aspects of the course.
Only a select few of Cadets make an appearance at air assault, and these two are nervous and yearning to graduate camp to start school.
If they are able to pass air assault, Huff and Adipietro will have the honor of wearing the air assault badge on their uniform, be awarded the 2B ASI, known as an additional skill identifier, and be well versed in helicopter asset knowledge, eventually helping their units succeed in combat.
Keaton Silver is a student at The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) majoring in Integrated Marketing & Communications in the school of Journalism and New Media. Silver is originally from San Clemente, California, but now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Silver also happens to be an Army ROTC cadet at Ole Miss., and plans to focus on photojournalism before attending Advanced Camp the second half of the summer.