Last Updated: July 6th, 2024By

FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY– Cadet Summer Training is a cornerstone of the ROTC program, providing Cadets with the opportunity to transition from theoretical learning to practical leadership. This immersive experience not only sharpens their tactical skills but also cultivates the leadership attributes essential for their future roles as officers. Cadets from 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp, went through the Grizzly phase of Field Training Exercise on Fort Knox, July 6, 2024.


Cadet Izabella Kubiak, from the University of New Mexico, emphasizes the dual purpose of CST: while tactics are crucial, the primary focus is on leadership. “We are out here conducting lanes for Cadet Summer Training to prepare ourselves for when we go back to our universities and learn leadership excellence,” said Kubiak. “Tactics are sort of the vehicle that allows us to learn leadership skills and attributes. They’re not really grading us on tactics, more so how we work with each other to achieve a goal.”


Kubiak describes the progression through different phases of the Field Training Exercises, each designed to build on the previous one. “Wolverine, we’re crawling, Panther, we’re walking, and right now at Grizzly we’re supposed to be hitting our stride,” said Kubiak. “I would say we are doing exactly that.” She reflects on how the experience has fostered cohesion within her platoon. “When you actually get here, and you get to know your platoon and you meet all your fellow Cadets, you get into a rhythm with each other. So, it doesn’t matter what you’re individually taking from your university, you’re going to build on top of that together.”


Cadet Kubiak’s path to the army and ROTC was influenced by her prior service and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I joined the army in 2020 during COVID. From that, I had an amazing Lieutenant when I was just a Private, and I really wanted to become the leader that I had,” said Kubiak. “She was very inspirational, and I wanted to be that person for other future leaders, especially women.” Her role as a 25U, a signal support specialist, underscores her commitment to ensuring effective communication within her unit. Looking ahead, Kubiak plans to pursue a career in sports broadcasting while continuing her military service.


Cadet Antosh Chorowski, from Syracuse University, shares his experience of CST, highlighting the unpredictable and challenging nature of the exercises. Chorowski appreciates the value of these exercises in testing and enhancing leadership skills. “Grizzly is just there to push your leadership to see where you’re at,” said Chorowski. “They’re going to throw a lot of crazy stuff at you, trying to see how you react to those crazy things that happen and just make sure you make a quick decision but also a correct decision at the same time.”


Chorowski recounts a particularly unexpected scenario during training, illustrating the high-pressure environment in which Cadets must perform. “The other day we had some opposition forces walk straight down the road with a 240-machine gun and just hit fire on the whole platoon,” said Chorowski. “My guys didn’t see them walking up the road right in front of them. They lit them up, but it was just crazy because no one expected it.”


Both Cadets underscore the critical importance of leadership in their roles. “As an officer, you’re going to have at least 35 people under you,” said Chorowski. “You have to be able to guide them and also improve them as well as yourself. Lead by example, teach others, and be proactive in helping each other out, making sure no one falls behind.”


Kubiak’s journey is driven by a desire to emulate the inspirational leaders she encountered in her early military career. For Chorowski, his motivation stems from a blend of personal ambition and a sense of duty. “My family is from Poland,” said Chorowski. “As a first-generation American, I feel a strong obligation to serve this country.”


Cadet Summer Training is more than just an exercise in tactical proficiency; it is a transformative experience that shapes future leaders of the military. Through training, Cadets like Izabella Kubiak and Antosh Chorowski learn to work together, make quick and effective decisions under pressure, and develop the leadership qualities that will guide their careers. Their stories reflect the dedication and camaraderie that define CST, highlighting its essential role in preparing the next generation of military leaders.

About the Author: Ayiana Andrella