FORT KNOX, Ky. – 7th Regiment Cadets learned the land navigation course requires application and understanding of terrain association during their training July 26.
Cdt. Aaron Wallace, University of North Georgia, and his battle buddy, Cdt. Garnet Williams, Saint Louis University, were the first Cadets to finish the course.
“The classes we’ve taken here helped when we were on the course because they taught us to pick a landmark and visualize it instead of relying solely on our map,” Wallace said.
Williams agreed with Wallace that their classes were beneficial to their success.
“I think the class on how to plot points was a great refresher and the terrain association class helped us get to the points quickly. We never really got lost,” Williams said.
There is typically about a 40 to 60 percent completion rate. The Cadets are given about three hours to reach four given points. In that time, they use knowledge from their universities, Cadet Summer Training (CST) and intuition to complete the course.
“During the course, they have to pay attention to detail and remember their basic skills; from plotting grid points to knowing where they are going,” said Staff Sgt. Paul Kleimola, stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Kleimola says the course is a necessity for the future leaders.
“Having the Cadets complete the course helps them build confidence in their navigation skills, which they need to progress in the Army,” he said. “If they don’t have confidence in what they are doing, they will lose command. This course will help them build that confidence.”
Overall, Wallace said he believes the teamwork between he and Williams was most critical to their completion.
“Teamwork was the most important skill I used during the course. My partner had a stronger skill set in certain areas and, by recognizing that, we were able to work together and finish the course,” he said.
About his experience at CST so far, Wallace had this to say, “CST sets you up for success. Not only in Army knowledge but in the skills portion as well. It builds your confidence in your proficiency and ability to accomplish the task you are given to accomplish.”
Another successful day of training is helping Cadets realize they are more capable than they believed. By the final graduation, these future Army officers will be another step closer to their leadership positions.