­­­FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp, participated in the Forest Hills Climbing Complex during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky., August 2, 2023.

A 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp Cadet completes the Moore’s Mountain rock wall at the Forest Hills Climbing Complex in Fort Knox, Ky., August 2, 2023. | Photo by Madelyn Guinn, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

The FHCC is meant to help Cadets overcome their fears and gain confidence in themselves and their equipment while completing different climbing obstacles. These obstacles include the Moore’s Mountain rock-climbing wall, the Alpine Towers and the Rudder’s Ropes Course.

Despite not having any prior experience with climbing, Cadet Amaya Bradford, Towson University, said that she completed the course a lot better than she thought she would.

“I was pretty nervous coming up and getting harnessed up, but as I was rock climbing, I kind of got over the fear and just got up, and it was pretty nice,” Bradford said. “The views were pretty good, and it felt good to have people supporting me down.”

Bradford plans on attending Advanced Camp next summer and said that she joined the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps to step out of her comfort zone.

“I’m an IT (information technology) major, and a lot of the work is remote and online,” Bradford said. “So, I wanted to get a lot of hands-on action and actually compete and be a part of something bigger than myself.”

Cadet Chatian Banks, Grambling State University, described how the rock-climbing wall reminded her of her childhood.

“During PE (physical education) and even on the playground, I used to rock climb with my family,” Banks said. “So, although I haven’t done it in years and I was kind of anxious, I was happy that I completed it as quick as I did.”

Being the first in her family to join the military, Banks said that she joined the Army ROTC program because she wanted to push herself outside of her own comfort zone and try something new while still staying on track with her future career path.

Cadet Banks thinks that the greatest takeaway from the FHCC was confidence.

“I think that your confidence is one of the most important skills you can have in life, because if you doubt yourself so much, you’ll never accomplish anything,” Banks said. “Being that we’re in ROTC, and we’re going to be commissioned to be future officers and leaders one day, having confidence in ourselves will make sure that our teams have confidence in themselves and in us.”

About the Author: Madelyn Guinn
Madelyn Guinn
Madelyn Guinn is a CST PAO intern from Martinsville, Indiana that graduated from Ball State University in 2023 with a Photojournalism Major and Sociology Minor. Guinn first fell in love with photography in 2015 when they began taking photos for their high school yearbook and has always favored sports and action photography. While interning at Fort Knox, KY this summer, Guinn is eager to gain experience with military action photography and hopes to expand her knowledge on more videography work by the end of this internship.