FORT KNOX Ky. – 2nd Regiment Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) Cadets reconnect with loved ones at the General George Patton Museum on July 7th after 30 days of intense training.
With graduation on July 8th, Cadets’ families, friends, and significant others have the option to arrive at Ft. Knox and meet with their Cadet the day before. Being given this time to reunite with loved ones before the official graduation ceremony is important to families as they travel from across the nation to commemorate their Cadets’ accomplishments.
Ron and Marie Penninger drove 10 hours from their home in Virginia to see their son, Cdt. Lee Penninger of Hampden-Sydney College.
“He’s enjoyed it. He loved the obstacle course . . . He loves leading. He’s had a good time.”
Being from the Navy, Ron was proud and excited that his son was continuing in his footsteps of service. But the training process was significant to Marie for different reasons.
“I still think of him as a little boy, and he’s almost 20 years old. I need to start thinking of him as a man, if he can do things like this.”
Task Force Leader Commander Col. Andrew Morgado and Regimental Tactical Officer Lt. Col. Otis Register were some of the speakers at the event, where families and loved ones were briefly informed about the nature and types of training their cadet had been through the past 30 days. And despite the video, photos, and experts family day guests had access to during the presentation, it was clear which part of the day was everyone’s favorite. The pride and happiness loved ones felt when their Cadet walked into the room was evident on their faces.
“It’s a refreshing change of pace,” said Cdt. Connor Felty of Wake Forest University. “It’s nice to see someone from the outside world, who I don’t have to stand at parade rest for.”
Cdt. Cody Snyder from Truman State University was excited to see his family again. “I’ve missed my family a lot. This is the first time I’ve been away from them for an extended amount of time.”
A slew of family day activities and luncheons were planned as loved ones collected their Cadets for a day they’d enjoy.