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NEWS | July 23, 2018

Cadets rappel into the future under the guidance of U.S. Army Reserve NCOs

By Staff Sgt. DALTON Smith Exercise News Day

U.S. Army Reserve noncommissioned officers challenged the physical courage of Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets on the 70-foot rappel tower at the U.S. Army’s Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky, July 13. 

The rappel tower is one of several events designed to assess a cadet’s proficiency in basic officer leadership tasks during the Advanced Camp course.

Much of the training and evaluation was administered by Task Force Wolf; an assembly of Army Reserve noncommissioned officers from the 104th Training Division out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

According to Cadet Jessica Simson, 26, a student at Georgia Southern University, the NCOs gave her perspective on what to expect in her future Army career. 
“They are subject matter experts, and we are soaking all of their knowledge in,” said Simson, a native of Richmond Hill, Virginia. 

Cadet Myles Caddell, 23, a student at Texas A&M University, agreed.

“The NCOs are masters in their field, and I think it’s fantastic they have really high-quality instructors training us,” said Caddell, a native of Plano, Texas.

Simson and Caddell were on day four of the 31-day Advanced Camp course. Their overall performance relative to their peers holds considerable sway over their future Army careers. Despite the pressure to perform, their NCO instructors emphasized Army values such as respect.

“I appreciate that the Task Force Wolf instructors acknowledge the competition amongst us cadets, but also emphasize that there is no reason for us to hold each other back,” said Caddell.

While at the rappel tower, Simson and Caddell also witnessed the 104th TD’s commanding general, Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Edwards, leading by example. Edwards rappelled down the tower twice under full view of his troops.

“I hope this teaches me more leadership skills,” said Simson. “Coming from the enlisted side as a specialist I am used to just doing, now I have to lead from the front.”
In less than one year, both Simson and Caddell will receive their commission as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.