By: Adrienne Vititoe
First regiment CIET cadets have been training at Fort Knox for three weeks now, and they have a lot to show for it.
From inside the “war zone,” they shared with Cadet Command Public Affairs what they’ve been learning:
- Cadet Sarah Laney – Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville:
“What I’ve learned mostly is leadership skills because we don’t work on that a whole lot in my school. We’ve been gaining new confidence. They’ve put us in a lot of situations that have been a little terrifying, like, you know, getting shot up at night. It’s been eye-opening.”
- Cadet Dominique Jefferson – Baylor University in Waco, Texas:
“I learned that missions are situation-based. Enemy and terrain are the key factors in getting your mission accomplished. Now I see why it’s so important to have team leaders because they help with command and control. Cadre have really good input and they put it in a way that we can understand. This was a great learning experience.”
- Cadet Luis Rodriquez – University of Puerto Rico:
“It’s my first time doing the hands-on. I think I did well. I need to improve a lot of stuff but like Sergeant Hudson said, it’s our first time. We’re not going to be perfect. I learned how to work with civilians. Now I understand that culture in each place is different and you have to adapt to that. I’m getting the hang of it.”
To maximize learning, cadets were given the opportunity to take turns acting as the opposing force. Here is what cadets had to say about that experience:
- Cadet Chris Brown – Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia:
“We get to see what we did wrong and how we can improve.”
- Cadet Trenton Dean – University of New Mexico in Albuquerque:
“You get to look at the lanes from a different viewpoint so you can see like ‘oh this is why they spotted me’ or ‘this would’ve been a better route.’ I think if we would’ve done this part first our lanes would’ve been so much better so this is a good experience to help you think about it next time. I’ve learned a lot of new tactics. Being here has actually taught me what I want to learn. This is nice. It’s good to be out here.”
- Cadet Vincent Hui – University of Nevada, Las Vegas:
“I learned that if you don’t do the movements and techniques properly you will be seen, just observing the others today in their lanes. It’s really fascinating to see how they move and what their style of movement would be especially in a wooded environment. It’s nice to pick up new ideas from the other side and gain a different perspective. It was a great experience and opportunity to increase my leadership abilities.”
Cadets have cadre and recent CIET graduates to thank for their success. These leaders do everything they can to ensure cadets have a fruitful training experience.
“We’ve got to find their motivation,” said Sgt. 1st Class Eddy Perez from the University of California, Davis. “They have it. They just have to be pumped a little bit.”
Second Lt. George Schoenfeld takes this motivation and tests its bounds. During the cadets’ training, he acted as an Atropian patrol guide, who eventually turned on cadets and simulated killing media travelling with the squad.
“Overall the cadets did very well,” Schoendfeld said.
Cadet Alex Horn from Virginia Tech helped guide cadets through scenarios such as these.
“I definitely know I’ve helped these guys out and I definitely know that they’ve helped me out,” Horn said.