Story and Photos by: LTC (R) Richard Hodgson
19 – 24 July Cadets from five Kansas High Schools, Leavenworth High School, Topeka West High School, Topeka High School, Junction City High School and Garden City High School, traveled to Fort Riley to spend six days experiencing a challenging and fun leadership development experience at JCLC Camp Konza.
Cadets reported in and in processed on Monday. They were organized into two companies of two platoons each and were split up with Cadets from the other four schools. This is important as it allowed the cadets the opportunity to get to know and work with other Cadets who they had never met before. Throughout the course of the week, every Cadet served in a leadership role at least once and most of them several times. Leadership positions from squad leader to battalion commander changed daily. Cadets in each position were observed and counseled by TAC NCOs from the Kansas Army National Guard to help each improve his or her leadership skills.
During the week, Cadets lived in open bay barracks, ate breakfast and dinner in an Army Dining facility and had MREs for lunch on each training site in order to fully experience a military training environment.
Each cadet received training on land navigation and orienteering, construction of a one-rope bridge, rappelled from a 60 foot tower, executed the obstacle course, completed the Leadership Reaction Course by squad and received survival swimming training (Drown Proof). The Cadets also received a guided tour of the newly renovated Cavalry museum on Fort Riley.
Saturday morning graduation ceremony was held in the Junction City High School auditorium. Eighty-five cadets received the JCLC Arc, Orienteering ribbon, Adventure Training Ribbon, and JCLC ribbon. Additionally, the top performing squad all received neck medals for the best squad competition.
Medals were also awarded for honor grads of each platoon and the top graduate of the camp which was Cadet Joshua Brookshire from Junction City High School.
This was the third year Camp Konza has been held on Fort Riley and it continues to be a better experience for the Cadets each year.