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Army Cancels ROTC Cadet Summer Training

Photo by: 
Ken Scar
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Cadet Summer Training, the Army’s largest annual training event, will not take place this summer at Fort Knox, Kentucky, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced.

Instead, much of the training will be delayed until the fall semester, and the Army will conduct a “distributed execution” of the training on various university campuses across the country, according to a statement from Army Cadet Command. 

“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 Cadet Command, in a statement. “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.”

The changes will not hinder any cadet’s ability to move forward in ROTC, Evans said.

Army ROTC produces about 70% of the officers entering the Army each year and is available on nearly 1,000 college campuses nationwide.

Every year, over 100 days, about 10,000 cadets from across the country descend on Fort Knox for Basic or Advanced Camp, according to the Army.

Basic Camp focuses on basic military training and discipline. Advanced Camp is a 37-day training event that focuses on platoon-level operations and is a must-pass event to commission as a second lieutenant, according to the Army.

This year, most Advanced Camp tasks will take place via on-campus training and a rigorous task force-level off-campus field training exercise during the fall and spring semesters, Cadet Command said. The exercises will take place on major military installations and be certified by each brigade commander.

For cadets graduating at the end of the 2021 academic year, tasks that cannot be trained on campus, such as employing a hand grenade and a buddy team live-fire exercise, will be done during a separate two-week course.

Cadets scheduled to attend Basic Camp this summer will receive an additional program of instruction on campus before the start of the fall semester.

Senior cadets who 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, officials said.

The decision to cancel training at Fort Knox this summer follows a “detailed, deliberate” planning process that looked at several courses of action, including limiting the number of participating cadets and reducing the number of training days, Cadet Command officials said.

“One of our main focuses remains to develop leaders by accessing, training and educating,” Evans said. “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.”