FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from 2nd Regiment, Advanced Camp completed the confidence course where they rappelled off a 64-foot tower at Fort Knox, Ky., June 11, 2023. Some Cadets came with a fear of heights, and some did not. Regardless if they had a fear of heights or not, what helped them all get through the course today was having each other and knowing that everyone is in it together. Cadet Violet Doolittle from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire said that she joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps to build herself up as a leader, meet new people, and build […]
FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from 2nd Regiment, Advanced Camp completed the confidence course where they rappelled off a 64-foot tower at Fort Knox, Ky., June 11, 2023. Some Cadets came with a fear of heights, and some did not. Regardless if they had a fear of heights or not, what helped them all get through the course today was having each other and knowing that everyone is in it together.
Cadet Violet Doolittle from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire said that she joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps to build herself up as a leader, meet new people, and build friendships and relationships.
It can be scary walking up the stairs of the 64-foot rappel tower, as this is many Cadets’ first-time rappelling.
Doolittle said she has a fear of heights and that she gets a little nervous, but she knows that once she does the first jump, she is in it to win.
Once Cadets are at the top of the tower, there is only one way down and that way is rappelling off the wall.
Doolittle mentioned how she overcame her fears. She said that she pushes her fears to the side, being confident in herself, and reminding herself to trust in herself and her equipment.
Cadet Andrew Caballes from California State University Long Beach said that he joined ROTC because of his brother and mentors in his life. Caballes mentors were also influenced by his brother which is why they greatly impacted him. Caballes further explained that he knew he wanted to serve because he wanted to do something greater than himself.
Cadets are provided two rappel stations to practice their rappelling techniques before arriving at the 64-foot rappel tower.
Cabelles said that in the past, he had a fear of heights until he realized that the more exposure that he has to it sets the tone that it can be scary if you’re thinking about the wrong things.
While some Cadets did struggle with a fear of heights, Cadet Jared Lepson from the University of Virginia said that he is not afraid of heights.
Lepson said that he joined ROTC because of his father who was in the Marines.
“I kind of came out of high school not knowing too much of what I wanted to do,” Lesson said. “My dad was in the Marines, did ROTC, and suggested it. I signed up kind of blindly, not knowing really what ROTC was going to be like or about. I knew I wanted to do some really cool things, and the Army was an awesome place to do that,”
Lepson further explained, “It was also kind of a value of mine to give back to the country, and being able to do that through the Army has been super awesome and a great way to do it.”
During Cadet Summer Training, each regiment has personal trainers to give Cadets motivation. Lepson said that he felt motivated once he saw the personal trainers that are assigned to his regiment.
“During formation, we had a personal trainer come talk to us about sports psychology and getting our morale high,” Lepson said. “Having those guys to my right and left, listening to them, smiling, and getting excited to go. Some of us are scared, and some of us aren’t.”
“It doesn’t really matter because we’re all smiling like I just decided to be out here,” Lepson said. “So I think morale is high because of the people in the platoon are pretty close to this point.”
Thaliya Martinez is from Evanston, Illinois and attends Olivet Nazarene University. She majors in Multimedia Communications with a concentration in Film Studies along with a minor in Military Science and Military Affairs. Her passion for photography and videography started when she was young. Her passion for photography and videography grew stronger from capturing her soccer, cross country, and track and field team in high school. Also, working as a professional sports videographer and photojournalist for MileSplit Illinois. In college, she has some experience of being a Cadet Public Affairs Officer from her Rolling Thunder Battalion Army ROTC program. Her goal for the internship is to let God lead the way in her showing the world the 100% that the Cadets put in every day and that there’s more behind these Cadets then just them in uniform. Thaliya wants to strengthen her night photography, audio skills, and writing skills while interning for the Army ROTC Public Affairs CST team at Fort Knox.