Last Updated: June 5th, 2024By

Cadets from 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp completed their Rappel Tower Training at Fort Knox, Ky., June 5, 2024. The goal of this training is for Cadets to build trust with their equipment and within themselves.

Capt. Hunter Sheckells from Western Kentucky University encourages Cadets to trust one another in order to navigate the obstacle safely and successfully.

“This event is twofold. Number one, it builds trust in their equipment and their leadership and trusting that their leadership is not going to let them down,” Capt. Sheckells said. “The second thing is it builds trust in themselves, overcoming internal feelings, fears or adversity.”

The confidence course begins with a demonstration from cadre on how to properly rappel. Then, Cadets tie their ropes, known as a Swiss Seat. Before moving to the 64 foot wall, they practice the basics of rappelling on a small scale wall to familiarize themselves with the equipment.

Before each rappel, Cadets go through the Rappel Master Pre-Instruction, where a certified rappel master checks their equipment, ensuring knots are tied correctly and carabiners, ropes and gloves have no deficiencies.

Cadet Audrey Holder from Texas Christian University trusted the training that she received from the cadre, giving her confidence to complete the rappel tower. For her, participating in Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps allows her to attend her dream university and fulfill her goal of service.

“I also knew that I wanted to be a nurse whenever I graduated, so just everything kind of fell into place,” Holder said. “I got the ROTC scholarship and then wanted to serve my country and serve others in the healthcare industry. And so I get to do both while loving my job.”

Cadet Yannick Gouanette from Morgan State University has a fear of heights, but he was excited to conquer the rappel tower at Advanced Camp. Gouanette encourages future Cadets to take training one step at a time.

“As soon as I hit the ledge, I was like, I can’t back out now, “ Gouanette said. “The only way to succeed and accomplish my goals, I will have to go through this.”

Building confidence is key throughout camp to successfully complete training activities. Activities like the rappel tower help Cadets create camaraderie among their platoon.

“Outside of camp, we’re going to ask them to be leaders of sons and daughters of Americans in the future,” Sheckells said. “We want them to never ask anything of their soldiers that they themselves are not willing to do.

About the Author: Kendall Kelly