GSU student finishing ROTC training at Fort Knox

Kamarea Simpson is leaving for Fort Knox, Ky. later this month to complete her training for Army Reserve Officer Training Corps. 

Simpson is one of 14 students from Grambling State University’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program going to Fort Knox to finish their last phase of training before becoming officers in the United States Army.  

Simpson says she joined the ROTC to do great things for God and country as an officer and has trained her body and mind for the transition to being in the Army as a full-time soldier. 

“I have done physical training as well as going over various text tactics such as raid, ambush, movement to contact,” Simpson said.

According to Cadet Command’s website, the goal of advanced camp is to help RTOC students become better equipped mentally, physically and academically through the standards of the United States Army before becoming officers.

“I want to be an officer in the United States Army,” Simpson said. 

“I felt that it would also be a good opportunity for me to return back to school and complete my bachelor’s degree with a career.”

Military science instructors from across the country consider advanced camp to be the most meaningful event in the program in regards to evaluation and training. It is designed to be complicated, demanding and backbreaking within an intense atmosphere.  

Once these students are settled within Fort Knox, they get briefed about what the next 38 days are going to look like as well as what is expected of them. 

“You will go under various training  such as day land navigation, night land navigation and have a physical fitness test,” Simpson said. “You will experience the gas chamber, team building exercises and events you will conduct field training exercises, and be exposed to all seventeen branches of the military.” 

The experience Fort Knox offers is not easy for these students. 

“I am nervous,” Simpson said. “I do not truly know what to expect. You see a skeleton telling you activities that you would do throughout the day but that does not prepare you for the actual physical part of being there and going through the activities.”  

By the time Simpson and other students in the program reach the final week of camp, they get evaluated individually by an officer where they learn what opportunities awaits them from what their senior year in the program is going to look like to finally graduated as second lieutenants.  

“I definitely encourage those that may be interested in a military career to come in and see what the program has to offer and how it can benefit them.” Simpson said. “They may find out that the military may not be for them or they may find that they love it. They may learn things about themselves that they did not know before joining.” 

Simpson is a rising senior at Grambling State University majoring in Criminal Justice.