With more than 2,400 U.S. Army Force Command Soldiers at Fort Knox this summer supporting Cadet Summer Training, commander of U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), had a two-day visit to check on his fellow Soldiers and the Cadets they’re here to help train.
Abrams has been in the Army for 34 years and this is the first time he’s had the opportunity to see ROTC Cadet training and everything it entails.
“We put the Cadets in a field environment for a number of days and it’s hotter than blazing here. They’re in some tough conditions,” Abrams said. “These are the exact ways to develop leaders – have them overcome difficulties, find additional strength and dig deeper for physical and mental resilience. Seeing them overcome these challenges reassures my faith I’ve had for our future Army and it makes me enthused.”
During his visit, Abrams had the chance to visit the mock villages used for the Mission Context Leadership Exercise (MCLX). He was briefed on what situations the Cadets would be placed in during their encounters within the villages.
Cadre members from various units assist in this training and take on the role of the village residents. Abrams stopped by Diyala and Carhan Village during his visit. Spc. Tony Hernandez, role-plays as generator mechanic in Carhan by day, but by night is an opposing force member.
“General Abrams came and talked to each one of us and asked straight forward questions like our name, our Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), what we like, what we don’t like and what we can do to improve the program and better the training for Cadets,” Hernandez said.
Abrams took the time to speak individually with 2nd Lt. Ashton Butler, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., while in Diyala Village.
“He was interested in the climate of FORSCOM Soldiers overall, what issues we had and how we could improve. Especially in terms of how integration is being handled so far,” Butler said.
The second day of his trip started early with a 5 a.m. workout with the 47 Cadets of B Co., 4th Regiment, Basic Camp (CIET).
The workout started with calisthenics, a mile and a half run, then straight into sets of push-ups and sit-ups, and a stretch to cool down. Afterwards the Cadets had the chance to speak to Abrams and ask questions.
Abrams expressed the importance of strength, working out, and putting in the necessary work needed to become the best.
“Soldiers will follow you anywhere, if and only if, you yourself are willing to do the work you’re expecting out of them. You can’t hold them to a standard you’re not willing to meet yourself,” Abrams told Cadets.
After the morning workout, Abrams went to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and spoke to 5th Regiment Advanced Camp (CLC) during their Commitment to Army the Profession Seminar (CAPS).
The main message presented was a three-part guide on being a quality officer: be a strong leader of character, know your job and
take care of Soldiers and Families.
Other topics included the Army’s future, how to excel under pressure, what it takes to be a good lieutenant, and how to find the balance between work and family as a Soldier.
Afterwards, Abrams went to Forest Hill Range and observed as 7th Regiment, Basic Camp (CIET) Cadets went through the confidence course and navigated the high ropes course.
As Cdt. Teal Reynolds, Randolph-Macon College, finished the rock-climbing wall she had the chance to speak to Abrams about the training and her accomplishments not only during CST, but about her basketball career as well.
“Its nice to see that high ranking Soldiers, such as a four star, care about us Cadets,” Reynolds said. “That someone, such as General Abrams, who is a very important man and has plenty of other obligations, is willing to come out on a Monday when its hot and humid and see us and speak to as many of us as possible. I think it speaks a lot about the Army and its leaders.”
For more information on CAPS visit (http://futurearmyofficers.com/2016/07/gen-robert-a-abrams-shares-advice-with-5th-regiment-advanced-camp-clc-cadets/)