FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY – Cadets from 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp, conducted chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training on Fort Knox, June 24, 2024. CBRN training gives the Cadets experience with the use of their M50 Protective Masks in preparation for hazardous situations.

This training has a primary goal of familiarizing Cadets with the ability to detect, protect and sterilize during CBRN-contaminated situations. Given the evolving warfare, where CBRN can emerge unexpectedly, this training is crucial for any Soldier in the military.

As future army officers, this training is essential for ensuring that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to protect themselves, and their units, from CBRN threats.

Cadet Isabella Kubiak, from the University of New Mexico, believes that not only is the training important, but also maintaining a high morale in any situation.

“As an army officer, you need to be able to take a negative environment and turn it positive,” said Kubiak. “You are going to go into these events that are created to stress you out. You are supposed to be out of your element.”

The CBRN training at Fort Knox is comprehensive and hands-on. Chemical, Biological, Radiological And Nuclear Officers with the 48th Chemical Brigade assist with classroom instruction as well as other requirements to prepare Cadets.

During the instruction Cadets receive knowledge about various CBRN agents, their effects and the principles of protection. When the instruction turns to hands-on, Cadets learn to use and maintain protective gear such as the M50 Protective Mask and the Mission Oriented Protective Posture, a CBRN protective suit.

To simulate real world conditions involving contamination, Cadets are required to complete a series of events in a room full of CS gas, tear gas,. From jogging in place to high knees, Cadets focus on trusting their equipment and applying the knowledge gained from the training.

Throughout the last part of the training, Cadets take off their masks in the contaminated room. With the struggle to breathe and their burning eyes, Cadets must sing a song before being released.

“If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger,” said Cadet Jamarion Stewart from Jackson State University, Ms. Stewart has been in the Army National Guard for 3 years. His first time participating in a CBRN training event was during his basic training on Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. With prior experience, Stewart was able to motivate other Cadets. “I found myself helping others out and boosting morale,” said Stewart.

CBRN training on Fort Knox impacts Cadet development by building confidence in their equipment and their ability to handle hazardous situations. This training is a vital component of their military education. It not only enhances the operational effectiveness of the army, but also emphasizes the commitment to protecting the Soldiers where these kinds of threats are present.

About the Author: Jordan Chism