Last Updated: July 5th, 2024By Tags: , , , ,

FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY — College is a time for an individual to truly learn what they want to do with their career. With the multitude of opportunities college can provide, ROTC can be a stepping stone for additional career opportunities. Cadets with 1st Regiment, Basic Camp took that step to see for themselves what opportunities ROTC can offer.

After a gloomy start on the morning of July 5, 2024, Cadets worked together to complete the obstacle course at Cadet Summer Training on Fort Knox. This course encourages Cadets to exemplify teamwork together as squads to hop over walls and crawl as low as possible while doing so as fast as possible.

These Cadets come from colleges across the country with the intention to see if Army ROTC is something they want to do. Basic Camp is used to train and teach these Cadets the Army lifestyle, values and experience and integrate them into a military setting. Upon graduation, Cadets can use this training as a way to bypass the two years of ROTC that they may have missed if they choose to do so.

The obstacle course showed Cadets the physicality of the Army and the importance of teamwork. “While I am nervous, I am ready to push through and make it a good time,” said Cadet Bryana Smith from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. Smith decided to join ROTC as well as enlist last fall and in order to fulfill her requirements and find a way around Basic Training, she was lead in the direction of Basic Camp.

Over the course of these 30 days, Cadets will prove to themselves, the Cadre and family at home, they are up to the challenge and willing to put in the time and effort to potentially become a commissioned officer.

“I come from a military family with both my dad and stepdad being in the military and they have inspired me to continue the family tradition,” said Cadet Tiernan Richards from Marion Military Institute in Alabama. “Going into the course and Basic Camp, I feel fairly confident. None of the obstacles seem too difficult, but there are always challenges ahead you may not be prepared for.”

While some Cadets with Basic Camp have yet to sign a contract with the U.S. Army, some Cadets have and are using camp as a form in integration to Cadet life. Cadet Micah Stine from Bridgewater College in Virginia decided that she wanted that challenge of high academic learning and college experience as well as the military aspect of college that ROTC can deliver. Stine also shares her time with athletics as she is a part of the women’s soccer team. She plans to use what she learns at Basic Camp to learn how she can balance academics, athletics and ROTC.

“I knew I wanted to continue my academics at the collegiate level, but I also wanted to have some form of career in the military and at the time, I had no Idea what route to take,” Stine Said. “This is my first time doing anything military related so being able to use what I learn here will help me balance all of the moving parts like school, athletics and ROTC.”

Both the Obstacle course and Basic Camp as a whole challenges Cadets to take the next step outside of their comfort zone. Stine emphasizes that it is important to, “trust the process, put your mind to it, focus and remember what the outcome will provide.”

About the Author: Morgan Edwards