Last Updated: June 28th, 2024By

FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY – Cadets with 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, tested their combat and tactical skills while completing the first of three Field Training Exercises on June 28, 2024. This FTX, called Wolverine, is known as the crawling stage, preceding the walk and run stages that the Cadets will complete over the next few days.

Wolverine marks the first time Cadets are exposed to a real-world combat simulations, aiming to instill confidence in the skills they’ve learned throughout Cadet Summer Training and at their universities. It also serves as an opportunity to enhance the fundamentals before they undergo a similar exercise without Cadre assistance.

“At their home programs, they may experience an FTX, but here it’s more real,” said Cadre Jarrett Gafford, Alpha team leader, 1st platoon. “We use blanks, real movements, and enemies are more tactical than they’d normally be. We try to make it as realistic as possible.”

To intensify the training, Cadets are dispatched deep into the woods surrounding Fort Knox to unfamiliar areas.

For Cadets with limited experience in such scenarios, picking up certain skills quickly can be challenging.

Cadet Anthony Gunsby from Seattle University is one of many Cadets unfamiliar with the FTX experience. This is his 13th year serving in the Army; however, before this summer, he served as a Prison Guard.

“When I used to go to the field, it was typically indoors,” said Gunsby. “The training was a little more controlled compared to this, but there are some similarities. We all have objectives to follow and missions to complete.”

Despite his limited exposure to FTX training, Gunsby successfully completed the mission and assisted his fellow Cadets along the way.

“It’s exciting to get out here and complete these trainings,” said Gunsby. “It gives the leaders a chance to put their confidence on display.”

Cadets not only need confidence in their training but also in their abilities to make the right decisions under pressure.

“You need to know the book to understand things, but it all comes down to common sense,” said Gafford. “Stick to your gut and trust your training. CST tries to prepare you for the Army as much as possible.”

About the Author: Sophia Hughes