FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp, completed the field training exercise at Fort Knox, Ky., June 26, 2023. During FTX, Cadets conducted a platoon ambush; a platoon ambush is a surprise attack from a concealed position on a moving target. Cadets applied an excess amount of face paint on and marched their way in the hot sun through the thick terrain and in the mud to the location of the platoon ambush. One Cadet talked about their experience during FTX. Cadet Caroline Courtney from Gannon University joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps because of her brother. She […]
FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp, completed the field training exercise at Fort Knox, Ky., June 26, 2023. During FTX, Cadets conducted a platoon ambush; a platoon ambush is a surprise attack from a concealed position on a moving target.
Cadets applied an excess amount of face paint on and marched their way in the hot sun through the thick terrain and in the mud to the location of the platoon ambush.
One Cadet talked about their experience during FTX.
Cadet Caroline Courtney from Gannon University joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps because of her brother. She said that her brother was an inspiration to her because he was the first person in her immediate family to join the military.
Courtney mentioned how she started following in the footsteps of her brother.
She said, “I saw how much ROTC kind of shaped him as a leader, how it helped him grow as a person, and I wanted to challenge myself to do the same thing.”
Courtney’s brother branched infantry and is currently at Ranger School while she is at Advanced Camp. She said that she also has three out of five siblings in her family that are in ROTC.
Cadets arrived at the platoon ambush. Cadre assigned leadership positions for the platoon ambush, and Courtney was assigned a team leader. A team leader is in charge of helping the squad leader during missions. Courtney mentioned her mindset at the start and end of the mission.
“To help out my squad leader in any way possible, already getting on top of tasks that needed to get done and [for] mission success,” Courtney said. “My mindset after the mission was really just trying to do my best to get information to my squad leader about my team, making sure my team was all good, and then, honestly resting up for the next mission ready to go again.”
The night before the FTX, there was a huge thunderstorm while the Cadets were camping outside. Cadets were soaking wet and muddy from the storm. Courtney mentioned how she stayed positive during times like this and the importance of a positive attitude.
“Trying to have a smile on my face as much as I can,” Courtney said. “Not only bring myself up but bring others up will naturally bring myself up. So just trying to be that positive light in this environment, especially when so many things tend to suck throughout camp, just the rain, the weather. Whether it’s the heat or just your body’s drained, just trying to be that positive light for everyone else.”
Courtney continued, “I’d say that it all comes from my faith and my relationship with God. So I think that helps me stay positive a lot. That comes first, and with that, I think I’m able to have a more positive attitude at camp and really enjoy the suck, just enjoy those moments that don’t seem so great to other people.”
Some Cadets have a favorite quote that they use to help them get through Advanced Camp. Courtney mentioned her favorite quote that her grandpa used to say a lot.
She said, “‘When goings get tough, the tough get going’. I like to keep that in mind, especially when things seem to be going a little bit south, or things seem really difficult.”
Do not forget that Cadets come a long way to make it to FTX. Courntey talked about a time when she used her grandpa’s quote to help her get through a tough time at Advanced Camp.
“About a week and a half ago, I actually sprained my foot here at camp on an obstacle course,” Courtney said. “I’ve kind of had to push through that. I didn’t want to recycle. I wanted to continue on at camp,” Courtney said.
Courtney continued, “We just had our eight mile ruck a few days ago, and I’m not gonna lie. I was hurting a lot, and specifically at that time, you know, we all had to be silent during that ruck. My ruck weighed more than it’s ever weighed before, and I was in a lot of pain.”
After reading Courtney’s story, remember when you find yourself caught in a thunderstorm, your body is drained from being in the sun, you get tired from running back and forth with a 40-pound ruck on your back, or even have lots of blisters on your feet, just remember Courtney’s grandfather saying, ‘‘When goings get tough, the tough get going”.
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.