Last Updated: June 20th, 2024By

Cadet Christian Silvano, 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, is attending Cadet Summer Training in his own backyard. 

Silvano attends Western Kentucky University which is located just an hour and a half drive from Fort Knox. Before joining ROTC, Silvano was in the Kentucky National Guard for four years. He worked as a military police officer with the 23rd Military Police Company based out of Louisville. 

Flying into Mayfield with the Guard in response to the Western Kentucky tornadoes was Silvano’s first time in a helicopter. At that moment, he realized aviation was his dream job. 

“When I got in that helicopter, I was like ‘I could do aviation for the rest of my life,” Silvano said. “I joined ROTC to become an aviation officer.”

During his time with the Guard, his unit responded to events across the state as the quick reactions force. During the 2021 Presidential Inauguration, they served as an additional police presence in Frankfort as threats had been directed at state capitols across the county. Despite working under stressful conditions, Silvano remained steadfast on the unit’s goals.  

“You are there to work for them and to provide safety for the state of Kentucky and your peers and civilians around you,” Silvano said. 

Now, Silvano brings that same discipline to CST. With 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp tackling the Confidence Course, Silvano had an opportunity to hone his leadership skills. 

Silvano has practiced on the confidence course with his home university. He uses his prior knowledge and experience to help lift up his peers throughout the course. 

Cadets with 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, take on the Confidence Course on Fort Knox, Ky., June 20, 2024. The Confidence Course consists of nine obstacles where Cadets are tested on their physical abilities and mental strength. | Kendall Kelly, University of Georgia, CST Public Affairs Office

“It helps me provide my peers around me with a sense of direction,” Silvano said. “I’m like ‘I’ve done this before. This is the best way you can do it, and try to help them out.’”

Not all Cadets have prior experience with the Confidence Course at CST. 

Cadet Neil D’Attelo, 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, from The Catholic University of America, D.C., found aspects of the course challenging. Climbing ropes, crawling under wires and weaving through obstacles serves as a mental and physical challenge for many. 

Camaraderie and encouragement are themes woven throughout the Confidence Course. 

“I really like the way that our whole squad got to come together, bond, cheer each other on and support each other,” D’attelo said.

About the Author: Kendall Kelly