By: Madison Thompson
FORT KNOX, Ky. – Centers of Influence attended the Summer of Fort Knox Visit, June 13. COIs are community partners from the eight brigades in the United States Army, which operate under Cadet Command. COIs were invited to the Summer of Fort Knox Visit with the intent to spread the word about the benefits, opportunities and options offered by Army ROTC.
While at Fort Knox, COIs attended a number of informational meetings. They also participated in exercises Cadets experience during Cadet Summer Training, including the Field Leadership Reaction Course.
“What’s going to be happening is they’re going to be going on the Field Leadership Reaction Course,” said Capt. Clark Tucker. “The focus here at the FLRC is for them to learn how to solve problems. (Also) to see some of the Cadets who are going through the training, see them in action and how they work together as a team to accomplish whatever objective they’re trying to solve on the course.”
The FLRC is a series of obstacle courses to test a variety of skills , each with their own challenges and limitations. For example, Cadets might have to get from one tunnel to the next by using only a couple of boards. The challenges require participants to work together to solve these tasks. One of the end goals is team building.
One of the courses required the COIs to carry a load of ammunition across a ravine area by using a six-foot board and an eight-foot board.
“It was pretty tricky. We accomplished it by using two individual people out on the ledge. At the same time, we used teamwork to pass a board forward. It was pretty strategic,” said DuJuan McCoy, a Center of Influence and founder of Bayou City Broadcasting. “There were six people on a team. It was supposed to take 30 minutes and it took all of 30 minutes to get across a 16-foot ravine with two boards.”
The obstacles at the FLRC are not only physically challenging, but mentally challenging; and people go about solving challenges in different ways.
“The interesting thing that always emerges out of the FLRC courses is that you always see, when the mission is given to the group, you have different people. You have females, males, different ethnicities; and what you see is the social dynamics of folks,” explained Tucker.
This diversity that exists in Army ROTC is something that is continuously strived for.
“Major General Hughes, the Commanding General of Cadet Command, had an introductory meeting with the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters board members and members at large,” said Sherman Kizart, a prominent figure within NABOB. “In this meeting, Major General Hughes spoke about his vision, his commitment for diversity and how he has been engaging different community partners across the country. He talks about how he seeks their engagement in the involvement in Cadet Command to build a more diverse fighting force for the US Army.”
This challenge is acknowledged, but important at the same time.
“It is quite an undertaking, but it’s a very important undertaking because it’s that commitment to diversity at Cadet Command and it starts at the very top. Major General Hughes is very passionate and a forward thinking advocate of how he wants to create the best fighting force in the world through diversity,” stated Kizart.
The COIs were invited to Fort Knox, to gain knowledge about the Army ROTC program.
“The main takeaway from this entire training is to focus on diversity in Army ROTC. Army ROTC wants to bring on the best and the brightest from all across the United States in high schools and colleges,” stated Tucker. “The goal is to get the word out and inform people about the options and the opportunities that Army ROTC offers folks in college and how they can become better leaders in their careers as Army officers when they go back to their community after their time of service ends.”
Cadet Summer Training brings 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/rotc1/index.jsp?iom=IP08-AUTO-R1NA-BR-XXX-XX-XXX-MO-XX-X-BRCMAC:IP08