Last Updated: June 12th, 2024By

FORT KNOX, Ky. – After a day of navigation practice, Cadets wake up to be tested on

their individual day land navigation skills. Equipped with only a compass, map, and

coordinates, Cadet’s venture alone through fields and woods to locate five points within four

hours.

Cadets with 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp, plot coordinates on their map at the Land
Navigation Course on Fort Knox, KY., June 12, 2024. Before the Day Land Navigation
qualification, Cadets are equipped solely with a compass, map, and coordinates as they prepare
to locate five points within four hours.
| Photo Credit: Ayiana Andrella, Ohio University, CST Public Affairs Office

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Cassady, Georgia Tech, Cadre member at the Land Navigation

Course emphasizes that land navigation extends beyond simply navigating through the

woods. “It’s not just about using land navigation to know where they are and find a

point, but also about becoming proficient at planning and using a map, as well as

developing competence.” says Cassady. “Competence is important as it’s a leader

attribute that you understand navigation. Eventually, these Cadets will become

Lieutenant’s in the army, responsible for leading men and women as senior leaders.”

 

 

An hour into his day land navigation qualification, Cadet Stephen Wortendyke from

Lindenwood University, Nj., 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp, after locating one of his

points alongside the wooded area. His approach to this test involves “Recalling my

training, analyzing the situation,” says Wortendyke “and thoroughly reading my map.”

Leveraging the knowledge gained from his prior training, Wortendyke’s strategy plays

an important role in his navigation success.

1st Regiment, Advanced Camp, Cadets Stephen Wortendyke from Lindenwood
University and Ramon Mora from Texas A&M University locate point 44 at the Land
Navigation Course on Fort Knox, KY., June 12, 2024. Wortendyke’s approach to the
Land Day Navigation test involves “Recalling my training, analyzing the situation,” says
Wortendyke “and thoroughly reading my map.” Point 44 is one of the many locations
Cadets must find in order to complete their land navigation qualification.
| Photo Credit: Ayiana Andrella, Ohio University, CST Public Affairs Office

 

Upon completing this qualification, Cadets emerge from the woods back to the start

point where they inquire about their results.

 

Cadet Jenna Stickley from Cornell University, Nj, with 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp,
plots her coordinates at the Land Navigation Course on Fort Knox, KY., June 12, 2024.
Before the venture into the woods for the Day Land Navigation Test, Cadets are
assigned 5 points and provided with corresponding coordinates to locate.
| Photo Credit: Ayiana Andrella, Ohio University, CST Public Affairs Office

Undeterred by the Cadets being left to their own devices, 1 st Regiment, Advanced

Camp, Cadet Connor Bluestein from Virginia Tech manages to locate all five points

within two hours. Bluestein perceives that the Day Land Navigation test is intended to

instill self-confidence. “You have to trust your skills; you’re not asking for assistance or

resorting to your phone for a GPS. says Bluestein. “It’s about relying on your self-

complete confidence that you know where the point is.”

 

Despite their physical and mental exhaustion, this qualification can enhance Cadets

confidence and prepares them thoroughly for the upcoming night land navigation

qualification. Once completing the day land navigation qualification, Cadets can feel

slight relief, acknowledging that they are one step closer to finishing their summer

training.

About the Author: Ayiana Andrella
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