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Not a Typical 4th of July for Cadets

Story by Whitney Allen

Feature Photo by Whitney Allen

U.S. Army Photo by Melissa Scott.

U.S. Army Photo by Melissa Scott.

The Fourth of July activities started much earlier than the usual festivities for cadets at summer training. Between completing the Confidence Course, rappel tower, and Basic Rifle Marksmanship it was a busy morning for cadets of the 10th Regiment of LDAC.

For most cadets, festivities were vastly different this year. Cadet Jeffrey Fortuna from Norwich University in Vermont normally spends the holiday with his friends but as a participant in ROTC Cadet Summer Training, that’s not the case this year.

“It’s definitely different,” Fortuna said. “I woke up at 4:00 this morning, did the rappel tower and the confidence course. It’s different, but it’s fun.”

Cadet Fortuna was not alone in is optimism. Cadet Jeb Devault of Florida State University in Tallahassee echoed the same feeling; Devault deemed training on Independence Day to be “fitting”.

Although this isn’t the norm for the majority of cadets, summer training has become the usual for some. Several cadets spent previous summers training with their National Guard unit or in basic training.

Ninth Regiment Cadet Daniel Casale of East Carolina University in Greeneville, North Carolina completed the Land Navigation course Friday morning. “Last Independence Day I was in basic training in Georgia,” Casale said. “This is much better.”

Cadets of the 9th Regiment started their holiday at 4:30 a.m. with Land Navigation. Regardless of being “cold, wet, and tired” as many cadets put it, spirits were still high.

Cadet Cameron Mason from Grambling State University in Louisiana passed the Land Navigation assessment but not without some challenges. Mason expressed both the terrain and darkness in the beginning of the course created some difficulty. But nonetheless, he passed.

U.S. Army Photo by Melissa Scott.

U.S. Army Photo by Melissa Scott.

“I feel relief,” Mason said. “I’m glad all my training came to fruition.”

Training for future officers is paramount. While the cadets were still working hard over the holiday, it was not without a patriotic spirit and plenty of positivity to go around.

“I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else,” Mason said. “This is the best place to be on Independence Day, training to become a future leader.”

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