Deployment Last summer Fort Knox hosted the last Leadership Development and Assessment Course summer training program ever. For part of the program, college cadets participated in a simulated deployment to the enemy city of “Atropia.” During this deployment the cadets lived and trained as if they were active duty soldiers, when in reality, they were just hidden in the hills of Kentucky. Densburger was one of the three tent complexes the cadets moved into before they graduated and got commissioned into officers of the Army. During their time here, they trained for their three day platoon operations exercise. After the Army drastically reduced the difficulty of the summer training program halfway through the summer, many cadets felt worried and believed the program was a waste of time. This change in difficulty left the cadets with hours of free time during their 30 day training program. Many were found sleeping or doing other things to stay busy. “You wake up at 4:00 a.m., train until 10:00, then nap until 5:00,” said Christopher Payne, a University of Georgia cadet. Numerous cadets brought items from home to help them throughout their summer training. MTSU cadet Vagif Seidov has carried his daughters toy on two previous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and carries it to this day to remind him of his daughter and family back home. Cadets of the third and fourth regiments do what they can to stay clean while they are at Tactical Training Base Pickett. Because there are not any real bathrooms at any of the tent complexes, cadets have to shave, brush their teeth, etc., in the midst of hundreds of cadets. Natali Juarez (second from left) flosses with her squad mates. She kept a friendly atmosphere as a leader of her tent, but always made sure her squad was on top no matter what the task was, even when it came to flossing. With the contracted laundry companies running days behind, cadets were forced to hand wash their laundry in order to have clean clothes. Cadets started hanging their clothes out to dry, but cadre quickly put a stop to the practice. Mansfield University cadet Garrett D’addezio and other members of his squad write out self evaluations. The evaluations came at the end of each day’s training. Exhaustion combined with the importance of the write-ups left many cadets stressed. With the Kentucky heat and humidity reaching triple digits on some days, cadets had to do whatever they could to stay warm. After tubs of ice water were laid out for the cadets to stick their hands in, many were found dumping their heads in the tubs instead. Cadets prepare to evacuate the area after completing their objective. For this training operation, the cadets had to enter an unknown village, locate and capture a high profile target. Smoke bombs, blank rounds and dramatic acting helped transform the Kentucky landscape into a believable battlefield. Battle buddies and members of the ninth and tenth regiment trade a few last words by the latrines before lights out.