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    U.S. Army Reserve Instructors Maintain Cadets’ High Spirits

    TF Wolf NBC photos

    Photo By Sgt. Gabriel Prado | U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain (Maj.) Bret Perkuchin, Task Force Wolf chaplain, from...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Phillip Choi 

    209th Broadcast Operations Detachment

    Ft. Knox, Ky. (July 25, 2019) - Nearly 300 Cadets from all 50 states and Puerto Rico will come through the Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) Gas Chamber on a daily basis during Cadet Summer Training here.
    The soon-to-be commissioned officers must pass a rigorous month-long summer training regimen that requires passing several key elements of basic Soldier skills. Perhaps none tests the Army’s future second lieutenants more than the NBC chamber.
    “It’s a right of passage for Army Soldiers, whether enlisted or officer, to go through the NBC chamber. It’s a great experience for the cadets to get their Skill Level 1 training to get a taste of what it will be like” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Blair from Camby, Oregon, senior instructor at the NBC chamber.
    Each day, the NBC course is full of cadets, a term used to refer to college students training to become an officer in the military. Each cadet is assigned a squad, platoon, and regiment – mixed with peers from various college programs. Each ROTC program sends third year cadets through Cadet Summer Training, where they must pass a litany of physical and mental tests, to include physical training, a combat water survival test, land navigation, situational training exercise lanes, and confidence courses; as well as the NBC chamber.
    During the NBC course, cadets begin with classroom instruction by cadre and instructors from a number of ROTC programs as well as U.S. Army Reserve instructors. These instructors provide hands-on training and familiarization with the equipment the cadets will be using.
    “The purpose of this entire day is to build confidence in their Army-issued equipment” said Maj. Brent Reno, a chemical officer and officer in charge from Vancouver, Wash. “If we were ever in a chemical attack, they would be able to survive and win in that environment.”
    The day begins at the crack of dawn, the crisp Kentucky morning chill in the air. As the sun rises, the cadets hear shots firing from a gunnery range miles away, just as they had days before. Knowing the cadets are tired and weary of the day ahead, the U.S. Army Reserve instructors keep the mood light and fun, yet serious.
    Shouts of “Hooah!” are heard from afar to keep motivation up. A dance battle ensues amongst cadets. The instructors even blare music that the Cadets enjoy – Lil Nas X’s latest hit or “Baby Shark” are played on repeat over and over … for a specific purpose. When the music fades, Staff Sgt. Jade Hawks, a Human Resource Sergeant from Floyd, Virginia, sharply orders that the lyrics the Cadets were just dancing to would have to be repeated … inside the NBC chamber.
    Once the classroom instruction is complete, the instructors lead the cadets to the actual chamber – a small, dark building with four doors; two to enter and two to exit. As the lines wrap around the perimeter of the walls with the Cadets donning their protective masks, their smiles and exuberant energy quickly fade as they anticipate the inevitable.
    Waiting inside the building are safeties and instructors, donned in gas masks as well, to ensure the cadets’ safety. At last, the cadets file into the gas-filled chamber. Due to great instructor training, the cadets are fully prepared.
    A few minutes go by and finally, the instructors order the cadets to repeat the songs they joyfully sang hours ago. Instead of dancing, the cadets begin to get a peak of the sharp sting the chamber offers. In conclusion, the cadets are instructed to remove their masks, where they feel the full effect of the gas. Seconds later, they are led outside where they are met by a myriad of instructors.
    The instructors replay the music, where once again some cadets begin to dance, laugh, and even hug. Several cadets high-five one another while others ask if they can go in again. It’s an experience unlike any other.
    Cadet AmarJaet Singh from New York City, an upcoming senior at City University of New York said, “Wow! That was hard but I think it’ll bring my squad closer together. It’s something I will never forget.”
    Just as Cadet Singh finishes reminiscing with his squad members, U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain Bret Perkuchin, Task Force Wolf chaplain, from Virginia Beach, Virginia and a member of the 369th Civil Affairs Brigade, comes to check on all the cadets. They all joke about the experience; and surely, they’ll forever remember this entire experience.



    Date Taken: 07.25.2019
    Date Posted: 07.26.2019 14:00
    Story ID: 333264
    Location: FORT KNOX, KY, US 

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