Between May 17-June 30, 1,350 cadets, mostly yearlings (sophomores) and some who didn’t complete Combat Field Training last year, engage in various combat arms operations during CFT, which is one-part of Cadet Summer Training. The elements of training include team-level live-fire exercises, engineer explosive breaching lanes and a tactical air-assault that aims to cultivate a cadet’s strategic proficiency in the battlefield while presenting challenging training events that will be performed at the squad and platoon level. (Above) It also involves confidence-making activities like the Water Confidence Course.						             (Photo by Sgt. Gregory Muenchow/27th PAD Unit)
Between May 17-June 30, 1,350 cadets, mostly yearlings (sophomores) and some who didn’t complete Combat Field Training last year, engage in various combat arms operations during CFT, which is one-part of Cadet Summer Training. The elements of training include team-level live-fire exercises, engineer explosive breaching lanes and a tactical air-assault that aims to cultivate a cadet’s strategic proficiency in the battlefield while presenting challenging training events that will be performed at the squad and platoon level. (Above) It also involves confidence-making activities like the Water Confidence Course. (Photo by Sgt. Gregory Muenchow/27th PAD Unit) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Gregory Muenchow) VIEW ORIGINAL

New cadets in the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2025 will transition from civilians to members of the Corps of Cadets during the six-week Cadet Basic Training course between June 26-Aug 9 at Camp Buckner.

Approximately 1,250 new cadets will begin their first challenge during Reception Day as upper-class cadet cadre lead and motivate them to accomplish all their tasks. CBT offers the groundwork for basic military knowledge and operations while the new cadets learn about discipline, time-honored traditions and the importance of leading with character.

Following R-Day, new cadets will be trained to show proficiency in land navigation, marksmanship, casualty care, basic mountaineering skills and operating in a chemical environment by upper-class cadets and Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division, a light infantry division in the U.S. Army.

“They will wake up early, they will march, they will sweat, they will shoot, they will work as a team, they will persevere, and they will become stronger and more confident,” Maj. Travis Taggart, operations officer for Cadet Basic Training, said. “Throughout our nation’s history, the U.S. Military Academy has educated and trained cadets to lead, fight and win our nation’s wars. For the Class of 2025, that journey begins at Cadet Basic Training. The Long Gray Line starts here.”

The training culminates when new cadets descend on Lake Frederick for a historical experience that has not been conducted since 2009 that will forever bond the class before they march back to the academy for acceptance into the Corps of Cadets, Taggart added.

For many years, new cadets would spend the last week of CBT at Lake Frederick and then march back to the main post as the culminating event. The Department of Military Instruction stopped sending the class to Lake Frederick after 2009 for various reasons.

“This year, Tent City exists on the Parade Field at Camp Buckner because renovation of the Buckner Bays has begun, and we lost lodging capacity for 600 cadets. This is the first time since 2009 that we are bringing them back to Frederick,” Lt. Col. Adam Sawyer, DMI chief of Military Science and Training, said. “Back then, they would use ‘tent halves’ for their two-person tents at Frederick, but those no longer exist in the Army inventory, so we plan to use the modern two-person tents that are in the Army inventory.”

Correspondingly, between May 17-June 30, 1,350 cadets, mostly yearlings (sophomores) and some who didn’t complete Combat Field Training last year, engage in various combat arms operations during CFT.

The elements of training include team-level live-fire exercises, engineer explosive breaching lanes and a tactical air assault that aims to cultivate a cadet’s strategic proficiency in the battlefield while presenting challenging training events that will be performed at the squad and platoon level.

“Cadet Field Training will not only test the individual but test their ability to serve along and lead their peers,” Maj. Joe Ryan, operations officer for CFT, said. “Cadet Field Training ends on June 30 when the cadets march back to the academy to assume duties as NCOs in the Corps of Cadets — ready to inspire others with a passion for the profession.”

Throughout July, Firsties (seniors) and Cows (juniors) will endure four arduous weeks of Cadet Leader Development Training. These cadets will be tested under stressful conditions while demonstrating their ability to lead along with their knowledge base in small unit tactics.

Also, cadets will participate in exercises ranging from combatives, weapons proficiency, communications and patrolling. Led by the task force, cadet cadre and USMA officers, the cadets will build combat efficiency by instituting platoon standard operating procedures.

“The cadets will then deploy into their Field Training Exercise where they will fight for 10 days and nine nights executing ambushes, raids, area defenses and operate out of nightly patrol bases,” Maj. Casey Williams, chief of staff for Cadet Leader Development Training, said. “Rotating positions within their platoon, cadets will be tested as both leaders and followers. CLDT will end with ‘the crucible’ — A final test requiring cadets to go the extra distance that underscores true leaders of character.”

The most important part to this experience will be the feedback cadets receive from their platoon mentors, task force trainers and peers. CLDT digital assessments and development initiatives will aid in ensuring CLDT graduates possess the confidence and proficiency necessary to lead their peers in the Corps of Cadets and as commissioned officers in the United States Army.”

Moreover, six Air Assault School iterations will be taught at West Point this year. DMI instructor Capt. Romedy Murr will serve as the Air Assault School officer-in-charge. Instructors from the Sabalauski Air Assault School from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, will lead and teach the six iterations.

Commonly referred to as “the 10 hardest days in the Army,” the purpose of Air Assault School is to train mostly cadets in Air Assault operations, rotary-wing aircraft, aircraft safety, aero-medical evacuation procedures, pathfinder operations, principles and techniques of combat assaults, rappelling techniques, and sling-load operations.

The Air Assault Task Force is named in honor of 1st Lt. Dennis Zilinski (USMA Class of 2004) who was killed in Iraq in 2005. His family and friends will be attending multiple events throughout the summer.

After graduating from the course, each cadet will be proficient in maximizing their use of helicopter assets in training and in combat to support their unit operations.

With that, Col. Laura Dawson, USMA medical officer, led the effort to ensure standards and procedures are implemented to protect cadets from COVID-19 and maintain force readiness during summer training.

If cadets opt to receive vaccinations upon their arrival, they will execute their CST in a normal setting without facemasks. However, for those who opt-out of receiving vaccinations, they will arrive to Camp Buckner seven days earlier than their peers and will perform a restriction of movement leading up to the start of their training.

Unvaccinated cadets will have to wear a mask throughout the duration of their training after the restriction period.

“I have sent all the cadets who are non-vaccinated about four emails and explained to them that if they change their mind and they would like to be vaccinated, here are the opportunities,” Dawson said. “Understand that if you desire to stay non-vaccinated, the implications are as follows: the cadet will need a restriction of movement which requires he or she remains confined indoors for seven days. On the seventh day, you will be tested. It may impact your squad or unit assignment. If you test positive, it could also impact your ability to perform required graduation events.”