FORT KNOX, KY. – 8th Regiment, Cadet Leaders Course (CLC), Alpha Company Cadets rappelled from a 64-foot rappel tower to overcome the fear of heights and gain confidence in team members and equipment, July 11.
During this training, Cadets learn how to properly tie ropes in a Swiss Seat harness design for security before rappelling from a slant wall and a 64-foot tower.
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Wondolkowski, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis ROTC and rappel tower instructor, oversees the rappelling process and conducts a safety briefing before training.
“This training helps with team building. There are a lot of things they are going to do throughout their career that is going to challenge them, and this is only one step of the process,” Wondolkowski said.
Staff Sgt. Thomas Scott, Bremerton, WA., considers the rappel tower a chance to overcome fears in the Army.
“A lot of Cadets are afraid of heights but this is really a good chance for them to overcome those fears and trust the equipment which is a big thing in the Army. We try not to be intense with the Cadets, we talk them down the tower. Once the Cadets realized that they are in control, they are good,” Scott said.
Before Cadets rappel, they have to go through a safety check by cadre to ensure their ropes are tight and will provide them enough security.
Cdt. Dominique Jefferson, University of Dallas, had some fears before the rappel tower. Once she conquered them, she felt more confident and proud of herself to be a Soldier in the U.S. Army.
“My fear today is the rappel course. I am afraid of heights. But the instructors are super hands on and willing to help with everything. They make sure that you build with your platoon cohesively and I definitely learned a lot from myself. I feel more confident after this training and couldn’t think about a better career in the world to serve my country other than being a Soldier,” Jefferson said.
8th Regiment Cadet Leaders Course (CLC) Cadets were able to overcome their fears and complete the rappel tower with confidence and they will take that into the rest of their training.