FORT KNOX, KY. – Cadets from 2nd Regiment, Advanced Camp conducted a Practice Land Navigation Exercise on Fort Knox, June 14, 2024. This exercise is designed to challenge a Cadet’s abilities to orient themselves using a map, compass and protractor while navigating through the rough terrain on Fort Knox.

Land Navigation is an essential skill for Army Officers, as it helps in the most accurate transportation of Soldiers and equipment without the use of a Global Positioning System. In the field, GPS technology can fail or be tracked by enemies in combat. Cadets receive, plot and find points using the tools and information given to them from their Reserve Officer Training Corps programs at their schools.

The Army ROTC program is a college course that develops and educates students on becoming a future Officer in the United States Army.

For many college students, joining the ROTC program is a decision that determines their lives and career. It can provide them with a drive to serve, leadership development, and rigorous training to prepare them for situations they may face in combat.

Being the first-generation military soldier in his family, Cadet Lucas Gum from St. Louis University expresses his profound interest in joining the Army since he was a child. “I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a Commissioned Officer.” he said, “I was always attracted to the opportunities that the Army had and felt that the Army was the best place to answer my call to serve.”

Before a Cadet finds out if they are selected for Army Active Duty, National Guard or Reserve components, they must request their top choices from the different branches. A branch in the Army is the career field that a Cadet receives once they are commissioned as an Officer.

Growing up in a military household, primarily Marines, Cadet Robert Kyte from Virginia Tech University had a desire to “carve his own path” and join the Army.

Kyte recalls moments in his childhood that inspired his top branch choice of Aviation. Living in Okinawa, Japan as a young child, watching his father fly aircrafts influenced Kyte’s aspirations. “He took us to the airfield one day and let me and my brother sit in the cockpit with the helmets on,” he said, “I think I was sold from that moment.”

Army ROTC Advanced Camp serves as an enhancement and evaluation of a Cadet’s leadership skills, tactical capabilities and physical endurance. Here they are brought together from different backgrounds to create a dynamic environment to share experiences and learn from each other. Cadets from across the nation come to attend this Advanced Camp and participate in training exercises similar to Land Navigation as a significant step in their careers as Army Officers.

Link to photos from Land Navigation:

About the Author: Jordan Chism