FORT KNOX, Ky. – After returning from days in the field, Cadets from Fourth Regiment, Advanced Camp broke into platoons to prepare for their next round of field exercises on June 29.
During the troop leading procedures (TLPs), Cadets gathered to discuss their course of action for their next few days and the importance of decisiveness, personal discipline and aggressiveness in the field.
“The point of planning is so that everyone knows where they need to be,” said Platoon Leader Sara Febbo, Clemson University. “It’s not easy but it’s important and necessary.”
As Platoon Leader, Cadet Febbo oversees the roles and expectations of each individual member as well as the platoon as a whole. “Everything the platoon does and fails to do lands on the platoon leader.”
“The Platoon Leader is in charge of the entire tactical mission, so making sure everything is in place, the timing is right, the planning is right and that everyone is where they need to be and knows exactly what they need to do.”
With a terrain board displaying the expected landscape of where their upcoming training is to take place, Cadet Febbo walked her fellow Cadets through a reconnaissance mission of a village in Fort Knox’s imaginary country of Atropia as well as through any potential follow-up missions that could occur.
“For people who want to go into combat arms, this training is really great because it teaches you resilience and how to think on the spot,” said Febbo. “For people who want to go into support, I think this is also really great because it’s important to know what your soldiers are going through.”
For the Cadets, however, TLPs provides more than simply instructions for future assignments.
“The number one thing I want them to take away from this experience is the importance of team building,” said Sgt. First Class Michael Vance. “It starts with trust, getting a shared understanding and learning how to interact with people from all socio-economic statuses, religions, races, and seeing how we’re all people.”
“Diversity is a beautiful thing,” said Sgt. Vance.
When asked what Cadets struggle with most, Sgt. Vance said confidence and being decisive. “If they come to a situation where they have to choose between two equally bad dilemmas, it takes them a long time to make a decision. We keep stressing to them that a quick decision made aggressively is better than a perfect decision made in an untimely manner.”
Once Cadets finish their second phase of field training exercises they will participate in their last pass/fail event at Cadet Summer Training: a 12-mile ruck march that must be completed in under four hours.
“Overall, I think they’ll all pass,” said Sgt. Vance. “I think they’re starting to see through the hardships and stress, which helps to make them effective leaders.”