Straight from Basic Training, Ep. 3: Climbing & Rappelling

Trainees get their first look at the confidence tower, learn to work together as a team and learn the skills required to rappel down the tower.

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Hi, I’m Private Nathaniel Alejondro, I’m from Texas and I’m doing at basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

I’m Private Harvey Degree Junior.

Alejondro: The only thing I’d heard about the confidence tower was that it was really high.

Degree: First they told us how to tie the Swiss seats. We actually helped each other a lot, we helped each other get the Swiss seats right, but we also checked with the Sergeants to make sure we had them right.

Alejondro: They go through it step by step with you. The drill sergeants very, very helpful. He does yell at you a lot, but that’s just part of basic training.

Degree: Well, we progressed to the 45 degree incline. Where we familiarize ourselves with repelling with the concept on repelling.

Alejondro: So they tell you, what you’re going to do, when you get up there. So that so you go straight up and do it.

Degree: Even though I’ve done it before and I’m not too afraid of heights, it’s always that anticipation, not really nervousness, but like more of anxiousness.

Alejondro: I’ll admit it was, it was pretty steep, it was a straight 90 degree angle straight up and down I had to prove to myself that I could actually, actually just go through with it and get it over with, because that’s what I wanted to do.

Degree: You know, once I started getting those couple of jumps down the repel wall, I felt more confident with each, with each jump, and by the time I got near the bottom, it didn’t feel like this big deal anymore. And it makes me want to do it again. And everybody wants to do it again.

Alejondro: What this confidence tower does build confidence. Because going up you really, it really looks high but as soon as you get down your wishing it was higher. You’ve just got to take it one step at a time. If you try to rush it, basic’s going to be awhile. But if you know what you’re doing, you listen to the drill sergeant, you listen to your fellow Soldiers, you’re going to have fun.