FORT KNOX, Ky. — 1st Regiment Alpha Company Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) Cadets arrived to begin their Leadership Field Training Exercise on June 20.
“Two keys are specific for you guys while you’re conducting this operation. One: motivation. You guys are going to have some fun out here, you gotta have motivation, you’ve gotta want it. The second thing is discipline,” said Lt. Col. Gary Love in a briefing to the Cadets.
Upon arrival, Cadets receive briefs from officers in charge about what they will be doing as well as safety and health precautions. After the brief, they must find rucksacks with their names on them before heading out into the field.
Cadets spend around four days doing different missions within this exercise that help them build leadership skills and battle techniques. Within each platoon, Cadets are split up into four different squads. Each squad and platoon has their own leader. Cadets switch these roles amongst themselves so everyone gets a chance to be a leader. Cadets also switch these roles within the missions.
At the training site, each squad learns different tactics and battle drills at each station as they rotate through each one. The different stations teach how to ambush, recon, and reacting to contact. Cadets repeat their actions at each station until they have thoroughly learned it, then move on to the other stations.
The orders for the missions to be conducted are briefed to the platoon leadership. The platoon leadership then disseminates it to the squad leaders. Then the squad leaders will dissect that information and give their squad the mission plan.
“My squad leader has done well so far with informing us on what to do. I’m really excited for my turn as either squad leader or even platoon leader,” said Cdt. Jennifer Bresnan from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
The missions conducted in the field comprise of fighting opposing forces in the fictitious country of Atropia. In this scenario, Cadets represent U.S. forces whose goal is to eliminate these enemy forces, so the Atropian government can be re-established. One squad within the platoon suits up as the opposing forces in order to battle the Cadets who are U.S. forces.
At the end of each day in the field, Cadets review what lessons they learned, and what can be done better for their other missions in the coming days.