FORT KNOX — Although technology can be a great resource, being dependent on it could be dangerous. Cadets of 7th Regiment, Basic Camp (CIET), B Co., learned how to find and navigate their way around the woods of Fort Knox July 27, the old school way; without any technology.
Staff Sgt. Jerome Pearson, land navigation cadre, recognizes the importance of knowing the basics.
“Times have changed and how you learn and what you learn should change, but you should always know the basics,” Pearson said.
The Cadets only get a map, a compass and a protractor to help them develop a route to four different points that they must attempt to find in a three-hour span.
Cdt. Alex Winter, Weber State University, agrees learning the foundation of navigation is a great asset to practice during Basic Camp.
“Technology is great and resourceful, but it’s also good to know what’s going on behind the screen of your GPS. Being able to do it by hand, by pace count, using the compass, could become a survival skill so it’s important to know,” Winters said.
A night and two days are dedicated for this training. The first day, Cadets receive instructions, became associated with their surroundings and do a terrain walk. The second day they are given points and have to properly plot them and discover their points.
The Cadets perform a daytime maneuver and one at night to really sharpen these skills.
Although these future Soldiers may not go without technology often, knowing what to do if faced with this challenge is essential.
“GPS may not always be available. Even if they are, they are not always as dependable as we would like to think. What if the battery dies or the satellite to connect to it isn’t working, then what? Then you will have to know how to navigate on your own,” Pearson said. “You never know when something might happen, like an attack or malfunction with equipment, but if and when it does happen it’s important to be prepared.”