Basic Camp (CIET)

Cadets Search for Points, Find Confidence

By: Adrienne Vititoe

Monday morning Regiment 7 CIET cadets put their land navigation skills to the test after having an introductory course over the weekend. In pairs, cadets were expected to find five navigational points within a designated area as quickly as possible.

Two teams search for their next objective Sunday morning.

Two teams search for their next objective Sunday morning. U.S. Army photo by Connie Lee

The Officer-in-Charge, Capt. Christopher Young from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, explained the purpose behind this training.

“This is the initial land navigation training for cadets in the ROTC program and it’s to make them confident, competent and proficient in land navigation skills which are very important skills for officers in the Army,” Young said. “It will help them in their whole military career.”

Cadet Timothy Chassen from Baylor University in Waco, Texas said he believes these skills are especially important for future army officers because “Lieutenants, especially second lieutenants, have a horrible reputation for being extremely bad at land navigation and getting everyone lost. The more we practice this, the more we can fight that reputation and come out looking a lot better than people expect us to,” Chassen said.

Cadet Chassen and team member Jeffrey Bymark from St. John’s University in New York City use a compass to orient themselves.

Cadet Chassen and team member Jeffrey Bymark from St. John’s University in New York City use a compass to orient themselves Sunday morning. U.S. Army photo by Connie Lee

The team members that finished first shared with Cadet Command Public Affairs how they felt about their victory. Cadets Ryan Griffis from Eastern Kentucky University and Frankie Herring from Truman State University said they finished their mission in 60 minutes exactly.

“It definitely was a confidence booster,” Griffis said.

Griffis waits for land navigation training to begin Sunday morning.

Griffis waits for land navigation training to begin Sunday morning. U.S. Army photo by Connie Lee

“As soon as we found (our last) point we started double timing back trying to get back before anybody else and as soon as we passed these bleachers and saw no one else we had a sense of relief,” Herring said.

Griffis and Herring also shared what they felt gave them the leg up on their opponents.

“I think we just worked well as a team,” Herring said. “If we came across a problem or anything we sat down and figured it out together. No one person was in the lead.”

“We had good communication skills,” Griffis said. “We kind of just trusted each other.”

Herring and Griffis were so in sync they even finished each other’s sentences.

“(We) both are pretty good at land navigation so I directed myself on keeping the pace count,” Griffis started, “and I was the map guy, shooting azimuths and everything,” finished Herring.

Griffis and Herring were by no means the only cadets who found success on the mission.

“I think (the training) went very well,” said Justin Eldridge from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. “We used a lot of teamwork. We checked each other to make sure we were right.”

“I feel a lot more confident than when I have done land nav. previously,” said April Benavidez from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. “We got lost a couple times but we came back to an attacking point and shot our azimuth and were able to find our point. The people at the checkpoints were really helpful.”

Spc. Andrew Gomez from Fort Carson was one of those helpful people.

“Cadre here teach them little tricks of the trade and they’ll be able, later on, after this training, to teach other soldiers when they get commissioned,” Gomez said.

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Adrienne Vititoe

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