By: Brooke Durbin
FORT KNOX, KY. – Tom Marino, U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, engaged with Cadets executing their summer training on June 18.
“It’s inspiring for me to be here because it gives me hope. These are the young men and women that are going to be the future of this country, that protect our country, protect my family, protect me. I know there’s a ray of hope out there. It’s a good feeling,” noted Marino.
The congressman visited multiple training sites where he was able to interact with Cadets and see first hand some of their missions. A few of the events were the group and zero live fire range, the gas chamber and Field Leadership Reaction Course (FLRC). Cadets were broken off into groups during the FLRC where they went through different courses building trust and learning how to rely on one another to execute a successful mission.
“I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen. In my career in law enforcement I’ve seen a little bit of this but not to the degree I’ve seen here. This is a whole new level, really notched up. The efficiency and the expertise with these young men and women is the best of the best. It’s an incredibly smooth running operation for as complex as it is. From the shooting range to chemical warfare, and the physical fitness Cadets must go through, I’m very impressed,” stated Marino.
Rep. Marino was fortunate enough to go through the gas chamber, though the CS gas was left out for the congressman and his entourage. He did get a chance to fire the M4A1 carbine rifle system.
“When you’re looking through the scope there’s still a lot more movement than you expect there to be. I enjoy shooting, I’m not that good at it but this is actually the first time I’ve shot a weapon like that. It’s humbling, it’s a powerful weapon in the right hands, ” explained Marino.
While at the gas chamber Marino was able to talk to some of the Cadets who are from Pennsylvania or attend college there. He went down a line of Cadets and allowed them to introduce themselves before extending a helping hand, he stated, “If I can be of assistance to any of you whether you’re in my district or not I’m only a phone call away.”
“It means so much to me to be able to be here because I can go back to my constituents and tell them what the military is doing for us. How training will be used in the future, which I still think is the promise of getting this country and the world straightened out but also my colleagues on the hill. Tell them how important it is. There are too many congress people that do not do this type of thing. They should be doing it on a regular basis to see what is taking place, how we’re spending the money and why we’re spending the money. There are many folks that think cutting funding is the way to go but they forget about people training our future leaders.”
Cadets can rest easy knowing elected officials in the United States House of Representatives like Tom Marino have their back every step of the way.