I am Lynwood Snowden, a graduate student studying Administration of Justice and a member of the ROTC program at Shippensburg University.

After finishing my first year of ROTC as a MS III cadet in the spring of 2015, I was on my first airplane on July 3, headed to Fort Knox, Kentucky for Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET).

I was a part of 6th Regiment, Charlie Company, 1st Platoon. Fort Knox taught me essential skills I will forever use in my Army career. During my training, I interacted with cadets from different universities across the country.

During my first week of training, the drill sergeant taught us the fundamentals of being a soldier. The second week was filled with thrill-seeking training and obstacles. Charlie Company got to experience the gas chamber, the range, the grenade combat course and the confidence course. In doing so, they honed their basic army skills.

The confidence course required my fellow cadets and I to climb a 55-foot obstacle. That is an experience I will never forget. The third week we went through four days in the field. While in the field, my fellow cadets and I learned different tactics, such as how to conduct a raid, how to conduct an ambush and how to conduct recon.

My final week at Fort Knox was spent reflecting on the training I had received and preparing to reunite with my family. The training, friendships and experiences I had at CIET have left a lasting impact on me as a growing soldier. I am incredibly grateful for the skills I learned and the knowledge I received while being at Fort Knox.