Last Updated: July 1st, 2024By

FORT KNOX, Kentucky – Cadets with 5th Regiment, Advanced Camp, completed their Land Navigation Training on July 1, 2024. Using solely a map, protractor and a compass, Cadets must locate five coordinate points in four hours. 

Land navigation can be a daunting training event for Cadets. Traversing through thick grass and unfamiliar terrain under a time constraint creates challenges for many. 

Cadet Ben Anderson, 5th Regiment, Advanced Camp, from the University of North Georgia, felt prepared for land navigation at Cadet Summer Training. His home university travels to different military bases for their practical exercises, giving Anderson the chance to practice navigating new areas. 

“When I’m lost, I don’t really panic,” Anderson said. “I just go back to where I was on the map.”

Anderson joined army ROTC to create a sense of community for himself at college. Many of his friends were in the program. ROTC allows Anderson to fulfill different goals at the same time. 

“I’ve always wanted to serve my country but also get a college experience at the same time,” Anderson said.

Similarly, Cadet Nicholas Whitaker, 5th Regiment, Advanced Camp, from Morehead State University, Ky., wanted a strong support system in college. Growing up playing sports, he wanted to recreate the camaraderie he felt in high school. Additionally, army ROTC allows him to develop his leadership skills and pursue his goal of becoming an officer. 

“Ever since I was probably six or seven I wanted to join the army,” Whitaker said. “I have a drawing from first grade of me in an army uniform.”

Whitaker delayed his enrollment to college by a semester to join the National Guard. He is a part of the Simultaneous Membership Program, allowing him to be in the Kentucky National Guard and army ROTC at the same time. 

He owes much of his success to his army recruiter. She has gone above and beyond for Whitaker during his Army career, connecting him to people in Kentucky and his home state of Indiana. 

“She’s been my mentor throughout this whole thing,” Whitaker said. “I’ve had my doubts about ROTC and she’s been there guiding me through with her experience and knowledge.”

Whitaker is thankful for the experiences he has been afforded throughout his career in the U.S. Army, both in the Kentucky National Guard and army ROTC. One of his most memorable moments was traveling to Washington D.C. to run the Army 10-miler. 

Whitaker encourages other Cadets to take advantage of the opportunities available in the U.S. Army. His time in the Kentucky National Guard has strengthened his leadership skills and work ethic

His time at CST is just the beginning of exploring new places as he has big goals for his career.

“I would like to go on humanitarian rotations and just see the world in any way I can,” Whitaker said.

About the Author: Kendall Kelly