FORT KNOX, Ky – 4th Regiment of the Cadet Leaders Course (CLC) engaged in Company and Platoon Operation Tactics where they learned how to plan an attack, set and hold perimeters, as well as build community relations.
During their time at Cadet Summer Training, each Regiment spends 14 days in a real life free-play scenario. During this time, Cadets live as if they were overseas in an intense combat zone. Each Cadet will have a chance to play on opposing forces, but their mission is to protect the role playing villagers from opposition, improve the quality of life in the area, and end the conflict happening in that region. Everything from sleeping arrangements, food and gear is setup to simulate a real war environment.
Lt. Col. Dale Barnet Wolverine Team Delta OIC, explains why, “The goal was to create an immersive environment where Cadets would have to critically and creatively think through their problem sets. The free play environment allows us to capitalize upon all the good actions of the Cadets and the bad actions so that we can reward positive behavior, reinforce lessons learned from the negative behaviors. The ability to free play also really allows us to increase intensity of an operation if its going well or branch off into different plans if we need to.”
4th Regiment has been split into Atropian forces (bad guys) and Blufor American forces (good guys). Two days ago the atropian forces were able to capture a village and maintain a stake hold in that area. Today Blufor forces made a play to take it back.
Platoon Leader of the Atropian force, Kendra Wynar from the University of New Mexico Reno, had this to say about her training, “It’s going to definitely help us know how to react to different types of situations, it’s going to help us learn how to keep our cool under tough situations, and how to establish good communication skills because that’s a big thing in the military.”
Communication is definitely a key concept instilled in the Cadets. Not only do they have to learn how to effectively talk to their teammates but they need to learn how to communicate with role playing villagers as well.
Private First Class (Pfc.) Altamease Esparanza who role plays as a village baker explains the importance of building civilians relations, especially during war times, “It really helps the Cadets with their leadership. It teaches them how to speak to people and be conscious of the way they present themselves. It gives them a real world view.”
Pfc. Esperanza went on to explain that Atropian forces had promised the villagers wood in order to stay in their land but however have not made good on their promise. She warned just as if they were in a real life situation, not fulfilling these promises can prompt retaliation. Something Cadets will have to deal with after the impending battle.
Everything in this tactics exercise is geared to prepare Cadets how to prepare, handle and counteract opposition from enemy forces. Cadets who play as the bad guys are able to think and better understand the mindsets of their future enemies, while Cadets posing as the American resistance will have similar knowledge that will aid them in the future.