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Cadets build confidence in rappel exercises

By Katie McGuire

Cadets of the CLC 6 regiment conquered the rappel tower and confidence course yesterday afternoon as  part of their training.

The future officers of the U.S. Army are required to complete this activity as a part of their Cadet Summer Training. Both events represent battle-like movement and are designed to build confidence in cadets in case of a time of war.

The day began with a safety brief as the cadre explained and demonstrated what the cadets would be doing and how to achieve it throughout the training. The cadets then got to work by splitting into platoons and went to different stations.

The confidence course, which consists at least nine events, is created to simulate what a Army soldier would go through should he or she be in a war time situation. The course is not timed however, it is made for the cadets to build confidence and get used to the feel of each event. Some of these events included “Incline wall,” “Tough One,” or “Belly Rubber” all of which exercise different parts of the body and train the cadet the proper movements to succeed on the course.

Cadet Christopher Farrill, of Central Florida University, prepares to take his first bound down the Cadet Command rappel tower at Fort Knox on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Cadets learned to tie and wear a rappel harness, conduct short rappels, and as a final event, rappel off the tower.  U.S. Army Photo by William Kolb

Cadet Christopher Farrill, of Central Florida University, prepares to take his first bound down the Cadet Command rappel tower at Fort Knox on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Cadets learned to tie and wear a rappel harness, conduct short rappels, and as a final event, rappel off the tower.
U.S. Army Photo by William Kolb

Each cadet was allowed to go through the course with their battle buddy for encouragement and after everyone went through there was then a timed competition for the cadets.

Sergeant First Class Clayton Mayberry believes this exercise is pertinent to CST for the cadets. “In a time of war they will need it (the training). It’s good training if you stay motivated (because) you have to be physically fit; you run, stand low, keep head down, keep a low profile,” he said. Practice and safety were key aspects of this course.

The cadets then learned the proper way to harness themselves in preparation for the rappel tower. Once safely harnessed they were directed to two small towers called Slant Wall Black and Gold. In preparation for the high tower, cadets practiced rappel movements like body checks, hand placement, bounding, and finally how to land.

Cadet Johanna Joosie of St. Norbert College in Wisconsin thinks these towers were good practice. “We are starting off slow on a smaller tower and later moving to a bigger one. I think it helps people get over their fears and it just helps build confidence,” she said.

Their practice was then put to the test as they climbed the steps of the big tower. Here, cadets completed two lanes, a free fall side and a walled side. Each lane consisted of both cadets and cadre members in a rotation to ensure a safe and successful landing. Cadets were then critiqued on their form and encouraged to improve on their next lane. This exercise simulates jumping out of a helicopter, something most servicemen need to know how to do.

Cadet Richard Ferrell, of Webster University, looks up as he performs a four-point safety check before taking another bound down the Cadet Command rappel tower at Fort Knox on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Cadets learned to tie and wear a rappel harness, conduct short rappels, and as a final event, rappel off the tower.  U.S. Army Photo by William Kolb

Cadet Richard Ferrell, of Webster University, looks up as he performs a four-point safety check before taking another bound down the Cadet Command rappel tower at Fort Knox on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Cadets learned to tie and wear a rappel harness, conduct short rappels, and as a final event, rappel off the tower.
U.S. Army Photo by William Kolb

The rappel tower and confidence course are an important part of training for the cadets because it allows them to safely learn the basics of these types of movements and prepare them for real life situations in the Army careers.

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Katrinia McGuire

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