Last Updated: June 12th, 2024By Tags: , ,

Cadets with 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp, complete the Day Land Navigation portion of their Land Navigation Qualification at Fort Knox, Ky., June 10, 2024. At Cadet Summer Training, Cadets participate in both day and night land navigation, where they must plot and reach coordinate points under a time constraint. 

Land navigation training teaches Cadets to find coordinate points without technology. Preparation is key to success in land navigation. 

“I get they’re tired, hungry, probably haven’t spent that much time away from home. Wake up, not just when they tell you to get up, but wake up with enough time to know that your gear is good,” Spc. Tyler Richardson, Vehicle Commander, 1-41st Infantry Battalion, Fort Carson, Co., said. “You can be as good at land navigation as you want, but if you don’t have the proper equipment to do it, it doesn’t matter.” 

Cadets use a map, compass and protractor to plot their points. Wrist watches are allowed to be used to manage their time effectively. For these future officers, being able to navigate new areas with confidence builds respect among their platoons. 

Cadet Joshua Venable, 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp, from South Dakota State University powered through a long night to successfully complete his training. Cadets with 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp, completed their practice night land navigation training just hours prior to beginning the graded day land navigation.

“One of those ways that a new platoon leader can build trust with his guys is when he can get them places,” said Cadet Venable.

His parents are retired Lieutenant Colonels, so they encouraged him to join the U.S. Army as an officer.  When applying for ROTC scholarships, he was hesitant because he viewed himself as an average student. 

To his surprise, he was awarded ROTC scholarships from three different universities.

“I was just going to enlist out of high school like all of my friends,” Cadet Venable said. “I got offered an ROTC scholarship from three different universities, and I said ‘Oh shoot, maybe I should go to college, check out this officer thing,’” said Cadet Venable.

Ultimately, he chose South Dakota State University, where his brother already attended because of their engineering program. 

Cadet Maxim Ward, 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp from James Madison University hopes to pursue active duty medical service upon graduation. After gaining experiences on the frontlines, he looks forward to becoming a Physician’s Assistant through the Interservice Physician Assistant Program. 

For him, training exercises provide valuable, transferable skills to future endeavors. 

“I think patience is a big thing with land navigation. I don’t get frustrated with myself, I have four hours to do this. That is more than enough time,” said Cadet Ward. “That can definitely lead over into leadership, you have people that might not have the same skill sets as everyone else. Be patient with people.”

After completing the day land navigation portion of their qualification, Cadets move on to the final graded night land navigation portion, where Cadets must locate three coordinate points at night to complete their Land Navigation Course.

About the Author: Kendall Kelly