FORT KNOX, Ky. – As graduation approaches, 1st Regiment Basic Camp Cadets completes the Confidence Course as their last event, June 25 in Fort Knox, Ky.
There are three different events, Rudders Rope Course, Rock-Climbing and Merrils Maurauders, that each Cadet needs to complete. Each event has its own difficulty. This course was to test each Cadets confidence and if the Cadet has a fear of heights then this course is to test them to see if they will do it.
“[Confidence Course] to see how confident are you, for me, to overcome my fears and to see how strong you are mentally to go over the ropes,” said Cadet Tayana Huntley, Northwestern State.
With Cadet Huntley, it took her an hour and 15 minutes to complete the course but she completed it. When asked what was going through her head she gave a surprising response,
“I’m going to fall, I watch too many TV shows and I was thinking the rope was going to break on me but I guess its confidence you have to have to trust your equipment.”
Prior to starting the course, Cadets are to put on their gear and go over safety precautions with Cadre to ensure they know what they are to do. Once they put on their gear, they go through a mini lesson to give the Cadets an idea of what to expect while completing these courses.
Each Cadet has to be with their battle buddy through the course, while one buddy is completing the course the other buddy is to spot them and be their safety. Being the safety is vital because they are there to motivate their buddy when they become nervous. If the buddy already completed the course they can give their buddy some pointers on how to complete the course. During the Merrils Maurauders course and Rock-climbing, battle buddies are billets for the Cadets who are negotiating the course.
Being the billet is also vital because they are holding onto the rope that is holding the Cadet that is negotiating the course. Billets go through safety training prior to the course so they know how to stop the Cadet from falling off of the course and they help them come down from the course.
For the Rudders Rope Course, this was the largest event that Cadets needed to complete. The beginning of the course is simple but towards the middle is when it gets complex. Luckily, at the end of the course Cadets are able to zip-line from one end to the other.
“Gain confidence in your individual skills and your equipment because they put it high enough off the ground to where if you were to fall it’ll be a pretty nasty fall but the idea is that your roped in and you trust the ropes and you trust your safeties that are walking right with you. That translates to other things in the military, you need to rely on yourself, your teammates and your equipment,” said Cadet Sebastian Suntheimer, Michigan State University.
Sgt. Maj. Hodo explained how it’s all in the mind. If the Cadet doesn’t believe in their mind that they have confidence then they will not trust anything. Amazingly every Cadet was able to complete the course, now they have graduation to look forward to Monday June 26.