FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY – Cadets from 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp continue their Field Training Exercise: Wolverine on Fort Knox, June, 29, 2024. FTX Wolverine educates Cadets on how to work together as a platoon. Cadets are now three days in with FTX: Wolverine, learning how to lead platoons through many scenarios.

The Cadets resumed their training on the first lane, and their mission was to complete a raid. Cadet Braden Borger, from Wheaton College, Illinois, led the platoon, feeling confident in his ability to lead. He would go on to say how Wolverine is critical for his training.

“It draws out leadership elements when you use infantry tactics, depending on different attributes or qualities you have, and how different things are thrown at you,” said Borger. “Especially staying out here in the middle of the night with little to no sleep; you get tired, and your true self comes out.”

Before joining the ROTC, Borger said he always wanted to go to college and play football. He felt unsure of where his path was going, but after reaching out to his brother’s friend, he would later earn a four year ROTC scholarship.

“My older brother had a friend from the same college that I ended up playing football for,” said Borger. “He did ROTC and played football, and my brother gave me his contact. I called him about it and when he told me about military life alongside college life, it was something I really wanted.”

As Cadets go through FTX Wolverine, Staff Sgt. Austin Glinin, from 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado, observes their efforts. He explains Wolverine is so important because it is the crucial stage to learn and develop leadership skills.

“This is extremely important because at this specific phase, Cadets are dipping their toes in the water of tactics, which, at the end of the day, is a basic soldiering skill,” said Glinin. “…You will want to have tactical knowledge of the battlefield no matter what your job is.”

Glinin wanted to join the army because he cares about the country and wanted to help lead and assist future Cadets and cadre. He felt like it was important to help train future officers through every obstacle.

“I joined because I just wanted to serve my country,” said Glinin. “I remember watching 9/11 live and from that point on, I knew I had to do something.”

The Cadets ventured into the first lane of Wolverine, performing a Raid-Control Base-Grid for Objective. Cadets in this stage are mainly focusing on learning how to work as a platoon. By Grizzly, Cadets must have solid knowledge on delivering tasks and tactics, without help from cadre.

After the exercise, Borger felt confident of his role, but wished he’d slow himself down when he was leading the platoon. “What I would do differently is to reassess the situation, and breathe for a second,” said Borger. “Everything doesn’t need to move at a thousand miles per second; make sure that everybody’s on the same page and move forward from there.”

Borger says he isn’t sure on what his plans will be after ROTC, saying he wants to explore many aspects of the military before making his final decision. He also wants to finish his degree in business economics. He aspires that both his career and military life collide together.

3rd Regiment Cadets finished FTX Wolverine, ending the day with an eight-mile run. Soon the Cadets will enter the Panther phase to continue their training, with trials awaiting them.

Glinin reminds Cadets to stay humble through the rest of FTX, wanting the future officers to learn as much as possible.

“Don’t take things for granted and know that it could always be worse, always humble yourself,” said Glinin. “Keep pushing forward to always try to get better. For our future officers, listen to your non-commissioned officers, they know what they are talking about. There’s a method behind the madness. Just hunt for it.”

About the Author: Elizabeth Peterson