FORT KNOX — Cadets of 4th Platoon, A Co., 7th Regiment, Basic Camp, spent four days at the Leader Training Field Exercise (LTFX) where they not only developed their tactical skills, but also grew as leaders and becoming a unit.
Cdt. Claire Reimer, University of Wisconsin Madison, wanted to join ROTC so she would be placed in environments, such as LTFX, that would help push her.
“I woke up one day and I wanted a leadership opportunity – I wanted to give myself the chance to be a better critical thinker and develop skills I would later need and use in life. So I thought why not? Took the risk, and tried ROTC,” Reimer said.
Cdt. Thomas Su, Texas A&M University, just finished his first year in ROTC and feels as if the training at his university helped prepare him for these training events.
“With the training I had gone through at my school it helped me be prepared for this summer. When drill sergeants would start yelling or I wasn’t sure what to do I fell back on the experiences and things I had been through the past year at my school and had the confidence that I could handle anything thrown at me,” Su said.
Cadets from all over the country come to Basic Camp and are mainly freshman or sophomores in college – each cadet with a different experience level.
During the LTFX Cadets are broken down to squads and perform ambush, reconnaissance, and react to contact missions.
“During this training you never know what’ s going to come around the corner, you have to learn to communicate and stay on your toes.” Reimer said. “In this environment you have to make a decision, stick to it, trust your gut and power through and have faith it will turn out just fine.”
Every Cadet brings something to the group and using their strength efficiently during missions can be beneficial and help the mission run smoother. Cdt. Henry Wavering, University of Missouri Science and Technology, saw the importance in identifying key strengths within their squad.
“At the start we didn’t know how to communicate and work as a team as well as we do now. As time went on everyone in our squad knew what everyone else’s weakness and strengths were and how to use them and play to them – which made it so we could complete missions successfully.