FORT KNOX, Ky. – After finishing up their field training exercises, Cadets from 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp, participated in an early morning 10K road march during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky., August 10, 2023. The Cadets spent two days out in the field for the FTX, then woke up at around 2:30 a.m. to march a little over six miles back to the barracks. Once the road march was over, Cadet Grant Schaefer from Norwich University said that he had a good experience and felt motivated and energized. “It was cool to see everyone doing it all together,” Schaefer […]
FORT KNOX, Ky. – After finishing up their field training exercises, Cadets from 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp, participated in an early morning 10K road march during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky., August 10, 2023.
The Cadets spent two days out in the field for the FTX, then woke up at around 2:30 a.m. to march a little over six miles back to the barracks.
Once the road march was over, Cadet Grant Schaefer from Norwich University said that he had a good experience and felt motivated and energized.
“It was cool to see everyone doing it all together,” Schaefer said. “Everyone going through the same kind of suck helps motivate everybody.”
Cadet Schaefer is studying construction management and will be a junior at his university this fall. Although the Army was not his first choice of military branch, Schaefer said that he was eventually drawn to love the Army.
“I was actually pursuing Navy at first, but I just fell in love with the Army, the way they train, everything, so, I made the switch, got contracted and had to make up my freshman year, so I came here to make it up,” Schaefer said. “Best decision I’ve ever made; it instills a lot of discipline in me and makes me a better person.”
Despite not having much of his family’s history involved with the military, Schaefer said that he has always wanted to join the military ever since he was a kid.
Like Schaefer, Cadet Maegan Sunsdahl from Florida Atlantic University said that her experience during the march went well because of her fellow battle buddies and her passion to be in the Army.
“I think that we set a good pace and we were encouraging each other, always checking on each other and staying together as a team,” Sunsdahl said. “I stood behind the same Cadet the whole time, Cadet Johnson, and I told myself that I was not going to not going to fall, I was going to stick with him the whole time, so kind of just finding your battle buddies and staying with them is motivating.”
Sunsdahl will be going into her junior year at her university and is studying psychology. Although she’s not sure what she’s going to do in the future within the military just yet, she still plans on incorporating it into her life later.
“I joined Army ROTC to become a part of something bigger than myself, and I wanted to make those deeper connections,” Sunsdahl said. “My dad’s in the army, so just kind of following the line in a smaller way than he did, but I still want it to be a part of my life.”
Cadet Sunsdahl said that the fellow Cadets that she’s met and watched develop throughout CST have been inspiring to her.
“I think it helps so much to be able to watch people from the airport, when we were all just in polos, to now wearing the same uniform, it’s really cool to see the cadets that rise and the cadets that have grown so much just in the short span of 32 days, it’s really powerful.”
As CST comes to an end, Sunsdahl said that it has taught her more about herself and what kind of qualities she needs to have to make herself a better leader.
“As a female, I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks that mimicking the males doesn’t really get me anywhere,” Sunsdahl said. “I have to find my own path as a female leader and lead with love and lead with kindness, but also earn the respect of the people around me.”
Sunsdahl’s advice for future Cadets is meant to inspire the fellow females. “I would say for the females, you can do anything that a male can do, just as much,” Sunsdahl said. “Don’t let that get in the way.”
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.