By: Madison Thompson
FORT KNOX, Ky. – After 31 days of training, 2nd Regiment, Advanced Camp, Cadets completed Advanced Camp at Cadet Summer Training, graduating at Brooks Field at Fort Knox, June 30.
“This ceremony marks the culmination of 31 days of rigorous and intensive training for these young men and women. For them, Advanced Camp served as a test of their leadership abilities and potential to be an officer. They have emerged from this challenge, confident in their ability to assume the tremendous responsibilities of being an Army officer,” said 2nd Lt. Nathan Daws, commonly called ‘Pipes’, the narrator for the event.
Cadets filed onto the field in their platoons. Then, the narrator announced the special guests, the Chaplain candidate and the Regiment’s Namesake, General Frederick J. Kroesen. This namesake is in honor of a general officer whose values and accomplishments represent the best the Army has to offer.
Also announced was the participation of the 36 Infantry Division Band from Austin, Texas under direction of Staff Sgt. Gary Brock and led by drum major 2nd Sgt. Michael Knox.
After the formation of Troops, presentation of the Command, the Honors and Invocation, the program commenced with the Cadet Cannonade.
“The United States Army ROTC Cadet Cannonade salutes the three pillars of our service to the nation. Duty; obedience and disciplined performance despite difficulty or danger,” said Daws. “Duty requires self-responsibility and selfless devotion. Honor; encompassing integrity and dedication. Honor is the thread which holds together the fabric of our Army. Country; for which men and women have given their lives. Our country shines as a light of freedom and dignity to the world.”
Once the United States Army ROTC Cadet Cannonade was completed, Sumerr Paxton, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, recited the Cadet Creed.
Cadets recognize that training is meant to challenge them. Some Cadets were recognized for their distinguished performance during CST. There were 12 awards and the presentation of the Reconnaissance Commando (RECONDO) Badge to one Cadet.
The awardees are as follows:
Cadet Jacob D. Siry, Purdue University, received the AUSA Warrior Ethos Award June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. Cadets earn this award for being the top Cadet in each Regiment, as determined by Regimental Cadre Board.
Cadet Troy J. Mason, University of Arizona, received the Military Order of World Wars Award June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. Cadets earn this award for best demonstrating the ability to evaluate, analyze, apply, and understand experiences and capabilities to solve tactical problem sets.
Cadet Caroline M. Duplessis, University of Louisville, received the Military Officers Association of America Award June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. Cadets earn this award for best demonstrating superior dedication to duty through applying self-accountability and leadership fundamentals.
Cadet Joyanna A. Zamzow, Texas A&M University, received the USAA Warrior Spirit Award June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. Cadets earn this award for best demonstrating the Army Profession, Ethics and Officership while best exemplifying the warrior spirit.
Cadet Daniel T. Ijigbamigbe, Kansas State University, received the Armed Forces Bank Award June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. Cadets earn this award for best demonstrating respect for other cultures and people by effectively using the training scenarios to demonstrate a mastery of cross cultural competencies as they relate to a complex environment.
Cadet Donald L. Lorbecke, University of Mississippi, received the ApexTech Warrior Award June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. This award is presented to the Cadet with the highest cumulative scores in land navigation and marksmanship.
Cadet Mary K. Lawless, Ohio University, received the Reserves Officer Association Award June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. Cadets earn this award for best reflecting the characteristics of Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness by demonstrating resilience and the lifelong pursuit of enhanced performance to cope with adversity, and best performed in stressful situations, and thrive in life.
Cadet Sarahann J. Adams, Tarleton State University, received the National Guard Association of the United States Award June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. Cadets earn this award for demonstrating the most improvement in physical and mental preparedness for the advanced ROTC curriculum. They must also be an ARNG Cadet.
Cadet Kenya Clark, Kansas State University, received the Bold Leader Spirit Award presented by Radcliff/Fort Knox Tourism Commission June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. Cadets earn this award for best demonstrating appropriate motivational techniques, inspirational leadership, and best demonstrates the spirit of a leader.
Cadet Hayley M. Elliott, Clarkson University, received the First Command Financial Services Award June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. Cadets earn this award for best demonstrating leadership traits necessary to encourage teamwork and unit cohesion and reinforce mission accomplishment.
Cadets Michael D. Fulton, University of Houston, and Cadet Gloria O. Chanady, Boise State University, received the Armed Forces Services Corporation Award June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. This award is presented to the male and female Cadet who achieve the highest score on the Army Physical Fitness Test.
Cadet Molly C. Haebig, University of Louisville, received the Norton Healthcare Award June 30 at the 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp graduation. This award is presented to the Nurse Cadet that best demonstrates the ability to perform under stress while applying critical thinking skills to make accurate and immediate decisions.
Finally, Cadet Jacob D. Siry, Purdue University, was awarded the RECONDO Badge. The criteria for earning this badge requires Cadets to accomplish the following: Score 90 points or greater in each event on the Army Physical Fitness Test; Score Expert in Basic Rifle Marksmanship; Earn a first time “GO” on First Aid and Call for Fire exercises; Score a grade of 90 or greater on the written land navigation test and found five out of six points on the land navigation practical course; Complete the rappel tower event; Earn a first-time “GO” on all of the obstacles on the confidence course; Complete a 12-mile foot march in under three hours; Successful in all assigned leadership opportunities with no moral or ethical violations throughout training.
It was then that the guest speaker, Col. Robert Brown, Task Force Training Commanded, was invited to the stand.
“I would like to say thanks for the family and friends of the Cadets and the support you show in your presence here today; and, more importantly, for the care and support through the years that has helped them reach this field on this day. Service to the Nation is both a privilege and a sacrifice, but the burden is made lighter by the love and support of the families who understand the importance of what they will do for their country in years to come,” said Brown.
He commenced to tell a story about when he was in training for Ranger School where he learned the lesson of getting out of his comfort zone. They were out training in the pouring rain when the Armor School Basic Commander, Lt. Col. Dick Weaver, walked up to them and told them that they were “too worried about being in their comfort zone” and ordered them to take off their ponchos.
“The amazing thing was that once we were cold and wet, we quit focusing on trying to stay dry. We started thinking about the task at hand,” said Brown.
“This initial entry training is designed to break young men and women out of their comfort zone, the lifestyles and behaviors they find familiar and easy. For many, this is the first time in their lives when they give up their personal freedoms for the rigor of a Military lifestyle. Being out of your comfort zone means becoming one of a group of strangers. You can’t rely on old friends and family, but must forge new bonds. You have to deal with a schedule designed to challenge physically and mentally,” explained Brown.
Another aspect that was mentioned was the training itself. More specifically, how training has changed and evolved from years past. Events have been added, training has become more rigorous. More objective standards and leader evaluations were also added.
“Training has to be hard because combat is hard. As living beings, we have an innate drive to seek personal comfort; but, as Leaders, we have to be prepared and equipped to operate without it … Training is designed to challenge us, to hone our strengths, expose our weaknesses. It’s easy to have illusions of courage and commitment and integrity from the cool comfort of an air-conditioned living room. It’s another thing to demonstrate these values at 3 a.m. when you’re tired and it’s raining. Your boss won’t be there to see it, but your Soldiers will,” stated Brown.
Brown hoped that, from their training, Cadets would take one more piece of advice and take it to heart.
“There’s one thing I want you to take away from this experience. That’s the understanding that professionalism has no end state. As an Army Officer, the task at hand is a never-ending commitment to self-development. That comes with being a leader and the profession of arms … Leaders don’t stop at basic standards. Because Soldiers you lead deserve more than bare minimums. They deserve excellence and commitment,” stated Brown.
After Cadets graduated, they were greeted by family and friends and reminisced about the training they just completed.
“My favorite part was probably just getting to know my platoon and working with them out in the field. We really got close and our leadership styles meshed really well and we were able to accomplish the missions, said Cadet Molly Haebig, University of Louisville, Holly Springs, N.C.
Haebig also offered advice for future Cadets.
“I would say to take things seriously back at your school,” said Haebig. “Just taking everything seriously, really want it and giving it your best when you get here.”
Cadet Summer Training brings 8,200 Cadets through Basic and Advanced Camp this summer on Fort Knox. These camps are designed to help challenge, grow and improve various skills and leadership qualities within the Cadets. If you think you have what it takes to be a Cadet or if you are interested in a job after college click the following link: https://my.goarmy.com/info/rotc1/index.jsp?iom=IP08-AUTO-R1NA-BR-XXX-XX-XXX-MO-XX-X-BRCMAC:IP08