FORT KNOX, KY – The highest obstacle of the morning was fear. First Regiment Cadet Initial Entry Training Alpha Company Cadets learned this firsthand on the high ropes course at Forest Hills Climbing Complex June 6.
“Focus and don’t look down,” said course demonstrator Sgt. Becky Moller. FHCC is a confidence-building event for CIET Cadets. Platoons rotate through three stations: the Rockwall, Alpine Towers and the high ropes course, consisting of eight subparts.
Each obstacle aims to highlight the importance of trust, safety and team building. “At first, I was a little bit nervous and shaky. It was so high off the ground,” said rising sophomore Cdt. Mason Miller of Concordia College Alabama.
Overcoming challenges thought to be impossible was the main objective of the exercise. “There’s no way to get through this perfectly, and there’s gonna be fear,” said Drill Sergeant Michael Bunch. “They can’t be too technical about it.”
Instead of thinking out of the box, Bunch pushed Cadets to “think out of the book.” Cadets also grasped that communication is key when building trust and relying on others.
“Communication is definitely key. If I don’t operate with a team, I could put myself or my Soldiers in danger as an officer,” said Cdt. Trevon Adams, a rising sophomore of South Carolina State University.
In the end, Cadets expressed they had increased confidence after completing the course. “It was daunting and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness. How am I going to make it?’ I realized hundreds of people had done it before me, and it wasn’t as bad as it looks,” Adams said.
“Slow down, humble yourself and listen – that’s having true confidence,” he said.