Fort Knox, KY. – Cadet Leaders Course (CLC) 4th Regiment, Alpha Company Cadets tackled the 64-foot rappel tower to overcome fear and gain confidence in equipment.
Over the course of the morning, Cadets were instructed on how to properly tie a Swiss Seat harness, rappel down a slant wall and 64-foot tower.
Cdt. Jordan Busque, native of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, attends Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, finds confidence when facing challenges by looking to his leaders for strength.
“I was a little scared going up the stairs, because it’s pretty high up there,” Busque said, “my fears went away, I just trusted my cadre and my equipment.”
Cdt. Alex Baldwin, native of Owensboro KY, attends Murray State University, looks at the fear of failing as a hindrance in leadership.
“If you have fear of failing, you’re not going to improve as a leader. You have to put your ego aside and realize you might make a fool of yourself in front of people. You are going to fail, it just means you can correct it later before lives are on the line,” Baldwin said.
Cdt. Karina Corona, native of San Bernardino, CA, attends University of California Irvine, does not allow herself to become overwhelmed when faced with fear.
“If I get nervous, and if I get scared, then it will only get worse,” Corona said, “I just tried to listen, take a deep breath, and focus to push through.”
Cdt. Baldwin agreed that it is best to face fear instead of focusing on failure.
“If fear stops you from doing, you aren’t going to get anywhere in life. Fear is a wall, and once you get past fear, you are going to set new limits for yourself,” Baldwin added, “if you overcome your fears, your soldiers will overcome their fears as well, they look to you as a model.”
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Wondolkowski, oversees the entire rappel process, and considers the rappel tower as an opportunity to grow.
“Once they overcome this, they can continue to do it again. Once they get past it, they can move forward,” said Wondolkowski, “this is one of the building blocks, they do this first and it gets rid of that fear, and then they move on to bigger things.”