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Cadets conquer 64-foot rappel tower

Cadets from the 7th Regiment Cadet Leaders Course (CLC) take to the skies to conquer the 64-foot rappel tower. This is not an easy task as a fear of heights is very common.

“Most Cadets initial reaction is fear of course because we get a lot that come through here that are scared of heights,” said Sgt. Gregory Hall.  Helping Cadets getting through the fear is something the lane NCO’s focus on. “We just tell them to trust their lane NCO’s and trust your equipment.”

Cdt. Larry Byrd, University of Missouri S&T, completes the Rappel Tower at Fort Knox, Ky, July 6. Photo by Angel Whittle.

Cdt. Larry Byrd, University of Missouri S&T, completes the Rappel Tower at Fort Knox, Ky, July 6. Photo by Angel Whittle.

Cdt. Reaenda Staten, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, said, “It was great to help build my confidence.” Cadets went through a 64-foot wall rappel and a 64-foot open jump to help simulate jumping out of a helicopter. “Going up I was a little nervous. Going down was actually better for me. It was fun. The wall side was a little tougher. It was a different experience than the way we trained at first,” Staten added.

Cadets realized how vital this was for their training. Cdt. James Shallenberger, The University of Alabama, had this to say about the exercise. “This gives us one of the competency towards becoming a Soldier. This is going to give us confidence, fear of heights is very common fear and overcoming that fear shows that there is not much else to be afraid of,” noted Shallenberger.

Training for this event was taken very serious. “The training beforehand was great. They did a great job of describing how to tie a hip rappel seat. How to rappel down the tower. It gave me and other Cadets confidence because they seem to be in control,” Shallenberger added.

Cdt. Bryan Brown, East Carolina University, found another insight making the training well. “There was a lot of good training with the Sergeants here,” Brown noted.

Cdt. Mykaela Hughes, University of Northern Colorado, completes the Rappel Tower at Fort Knox, Ky, July 6. Photo by Angel Whittle.

Cdt. Mykaela Hughes, University of Northern Colorado, completes the Rappel Tower at Fort Knox, Ky, July 6. Photo by Angel Whittle.

Not everything was smooth sailing, however. Cdt. Kennedy Jackson, Ohio University, had a little slip-up while scaling down the side of the rappel tower. She had this to say about how to help when that happens. “When you’re in that situation take deep breaths, keep your focus, get your break hand into the right position, and keeping calm.”

Cadets each had their own meaning to take with them after conquering the rappel tower today. This is just one of the beginning steps the 7th Regiment CLC will have to conquering while training here at Fort Knox, Ky. After completing their 4th day of training, the Cadets have 27 more days until graduation.

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Trent Taylor

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