Bainbridge native Heather Barr completes ROTC Advanced Camp in Fort Knox, KY.

Published 1:17 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2022

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Heather Barr, a 2019 graduate of Bainbridge High School and current student and Cadet at University of Georgia, recently completed the ROTC Advanced Camp in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

According to Barr, every regiment is required to attend the 35-day camp, where Cadets must demonstrate proficiency in basic officer leadership tasks.

Barr described the camp as tough, both mentally and physically.

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During the camp, Cadets spend 12 days in the field, while spending the remaining time in a garrison environment.

While at camp, Barr was tasked with multiple challenges, including completing a six-mile ruck with a 35 lbs. ruck sack in under two hours. In addition to this challenge, all Cadets have to complete a land navigation written test and a land navigation practical test.

The practical tests require Cadets to identify three of four points during the day, and one of two points at night.

Barr also was required to train in Basic Rifle Marksmanship, where she qualified with a M4 rifle. In order to qualify, Cadets are required to hit 23 of their 40 targets on the range.

Another challenge Barr faced was a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) task. The task is designed to help Cadets build confidence in the U.S. Army’s protective masks and chemical protective clothing. Barr learned to correctly wear, operate and build confidence in the CBRN clothing, before she was exposed to the live tear gas in the CBRN gas chamber.

She said everyone was sent into the chamber and required to sing the National Anthem, before they could be let out.

In association with CBRN, Barr took a grenade familiarization course, before completing a confidence training. The confidence training included rappel training, the slide for life, log walk/rope drop and obstacle courses. During the course, Barr was required to execute one 70-foot rappel and several 37-foot rappels.

While all of the courses proved invaluable, Barr was most interested in learning First Aid, as she intends to go into Medical Services in the Army Reserves. The training taught Barr to apply life-saving techniques that would ensure her battle buddy’s survivability on the modern battlefield.

“I probably learned the most in First Aid,” Barr said. “It helped me in the event someone was to get hurt, not even on the battlefield, but here at school, I could assess their injury.”

Overall, Barr learned respect for her peers and how to be both a follower and a leader when the time calls for it.

“I learned a lot about myself during those 35 days,” she concluded.

With her advanced camp now complete, Barr will receive her commission as a 2nd Lieutenant next May.