FORT KNOX, KY. — 1st Regiment of Cadet Leaders Course (CLC) Delta Company established their combat operating post on June 11.
“We are defending ourselves from Arianan forces. Right now, we are changing over our display of the fighting position, so we are moving all of our stuff back and having more controlled area of operations fighting against the forces and defending ourselves from any enemy that may come in the area,” said Cadet Jaime Bass from Norfolk State University.
Cadets learn survival skills and how to set up their own patrol base. They build every tent and shelter on their site to gain hands-on skills in order to guide future soldiers.
“We’re trying to strengthen and identify 21st century soldier competencies and trying to get them to make decisions and demonstrate leadership attributes in addition to refining tactical outcomes,” said Captain Robert Gracia of Georgetown University, Army ROTC 6th Brigade.
Each company is responsible for building their own outpost with security and making decisions on where to set up mock machine guns. Decision-making is key to drive the Cadets through their training on the operating post, which lasts for ten days.
“Cadre shouldn’t really be making any decisions for Cadets. Cadre provide a little oversight and steer them in the right direction if they’re way off. For the most part, we’re letting them fail. A lot of lessons learned are going to come from their failures.” Gracia stated.
Platoons also conduct key leader engagements where they identify the important people in neighboring villages and establish rapport with them.
“The main purpose is to train us to be adaptable to our environment. We’re all going to be officers and future leaders. We have to know what soldiers are going through in order to lead them. We can’t tell them to do something we don’t understand. So to understand, we have to live through it,” Bass said.
At the end of the day, Cadets learn that teamwork and communication are essential skills that will be utilized throughout their future endeavors.
“Leading our peers is the hardest thing that any Cadet or officer could ever do. We’re all going up the chain of command. So everyone’s getting that leadership role and how to balance it,” Bass said.