Basic Camp

Navigating to 2nd Lieutenant

By: Mattie Cook

Fort Knox, Ky.- Cadets of 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp put their exploration skills to the test during day land navigation on Fort Knox, June 15.

Cadets of 3rd Regiement, Basic Camp, move to their next location during day land navigation on Fort Knox, Ky., June 16. Cadets are given a map, compass, protractor and azimuth to navigate their course. (Photo by Mattie Cook)

During land navigation, Cadets are expected to find plotted points. Cadet Tyler Derr, Shippensburg University, Pa., explains that process.

“You plot your points on a map and find the direction of the points that you want to go to next; find how far it takes you to get there and just travel,” Derr said. “It was awesome because it was my first time doing land navigation. It was a success because we both got four out of four. The course was a big confidence booster and showed that our training and notes we took all came together for us.”

Cadet Kwaku Dokyi, Scranton University, Pa., was Derr’s partner on the course and said they each had a role to play to make their mission a success.

“My main job was pace count, which is just keeping count of how far you are and how long it takes to get there. Your partner would be in charge of direction and using the compass,” Dokyi said.

Basic Camp Cadets are just now starting their journey to become the Army’s newest 2nd Lieutenants, using many of the same skills used in land navigation to maneuver the years until commissioning.

Cadets of 3rd Regiement, Basic Camp, are graded on their performance during day land navigation on Fort Knox, Ky., June 16. (Photo by Mattie Cook)

Cadet Jordan Brooks, Sam Houston State University, Texas, said patience is one of those skills.

“I learned how to have more patience and how to keep composure when I’m under pressure, especially when I think I’m running out of time.”

Dokyi says land navigation is essential to become an outstanding Army officer.

“Land Navigation is very important. You never know what situation you will get thrown into. You could be in the middle of nowhere and if you don’t know land navigation there isn’t anything you can do,” Dokyi said.

Derr added, “It was great we got to do it the first time in buddy pairs because you had each other’s back and you weren’t going to leave them alone. You have to believe in yourself. You can’t get out there in the middle of the woods and say “oh, I’m lost, I’m not going to make it,” or “I think I’m lost”. You have to have confidence that your skills are sharp enough.”

Currently on Day 11, 3rd Regiment, Basic Camp Cadets will also participate in night land navigation. Highlighted events still to come in their remaining time at Cadet Summer Training include, the gas chamber, obstacle course and two-day field training exercise.

Cadet Summer Training will bring about 8,200 Cadets through Basic and Advanced Camp this summer on Fort Knox. These camps are designed to help challenge, grow and improve various skills and leadership qualities within the Cadets. If you think you have what it takes to be a Cadet or if you are interested in a job after college, click the following link: https://my.goarmy.com/info/form/GetBrcFormRedirectByUrl.action?url=/info/rotc1/index.jsp

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Mattie Cook

A graduate of the University of Louisville, Mattie is a Public Affairs Intern for U.S. Army Cadet Command of Fort Knox, KY. Mattie has a passion for serving Veterans, military families and using the power of word to tell the Army story.

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