FORT KNOX, Ky. – The U.S. Army Cadet Command is announcing several changes to its annual Cadet Summer Training programs in response to COVID-19 concerns. Cadet Command leadership said the changes are meant to mitigate the spread of the virus, while ensuring cadets still receive the training required to become Army second lieutenants.
“CST 2020 planning is in progress, and all appropriate measures are being undertaken to ensure the health and safety of our Cadets, Cadre and civilians,” said Maj. Gen John Evans, commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command. “The situation regarding the pandemic is still evolving and because of this plans for CST 2020 have been adjusted so we can still meet all of our training requirements, but the inability to complete training as we normally do will not hinder any Cadets ability to move forward in ROTC.”
Changes to this year’s Cadet Summer Training include:
All training for Advanced and Basic Camps is moved from a centralized training event at Fort Knox to a distributed execution of training on campuses during the fall semester. There will be no Cadet training at Fort Knox this summer. Operation Agile Leader adjusts most Advanced Camp tasks to both on-campus training and a rigorous, task-force level off-campus field training exercise during the fall and spring semesters. These field training exercises will occur on major military installations and will be certified by each respective brigade commander. For the training tasks that cannot be trained on-campus, Cadets that commission in academic year 2021 will complete a 2-week course that will include a leadership field training exercise and select warrior tasks: employ hand grenade (live hand grenade), night infiltration course, and buddy team live fire exercise. The Distributed Basic Camp program ensures Cadets that are supposed to attend Basic Camp this summer be provided an additional program of instruction on-campus prior to the start of their fall semester to qualify them for the Advanced Course (Military Science Level III classes).
Senior Cadets that have completed all other commissioning requirements except Cadet Summer Training will not be required to attend training at Fort Knox and they will commission on-time.
After consulting with Training and Doctrine Command, Forces Command and our industry partners, other Cadet Summer Training conducted off of Fort Knox such as internships, the Nurse Summer Training Program, military badge producing schools, and Cadet Troop Leader Training will not be conducted this summer.
The decision to not conduct training at Fort Knox this summer comes after a very detailed, deliberate planning process that reviewed several courses of action; from limiting the number of Cadets that would have come to both Advanced and Basic Camps to decreasing the days spent on each training cycle. With the constantly changing COVID-19 environment and the fact that our Cadets and Cadre come from all over the United States, the Army determined the health and safety of our Cadets and Cadre as well as the American people was paramount and that we can and will meet all of our Cadets training objectives back on campus later this fall and the completion of their Basic Officer Leaders Course.
Evans said these will allow the command to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place and are operating effectively at training installations, while ensuring our future leaders are equipment with the necessary skills to become Army officers.
“One of our main focuses remains to develop leaders by accessing, training and educating,” Evans said. “We have to do so responsibly, currently we’ve already implemented CDC guidelines and DoD guidelines within the command to include all our ROTC programs and reduced the movement of our cadets and ROTC cadre. The decision to adjust the implementation of summer camps will allow leaders to focus on setting conditions so movement and training can be conducted in a safe manner in the future.”
U.S. Army Cadet Command leadership will maintain close communication with ROTC cadets and Cadre during the delay to ensure they have current information regarding their ROTC careers.
Army ROTC produces approximately 70 percent of the officers entering the Army each year and is available through nearly 1,000 college campuses nationwide ranging from Harvard to Berkley--from Tufts to Ohio State. Army ROTC teaches leadership and discipline, management techniques, cultural awareness and problem solving. Those who participate in Army ROTC and subsequently serve as Army officers develop leadership and managerial skills that last a lifetime.
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