While there’s value in learning the skills associated with rappelling, it could be said that the real value Soldiers get out of rappelling down Victory Tower at Basic Training is learning to overcome their fears.
In this video uploaded to the YouTube channel “Life with Leeanna,” you’re offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into this training event, as well as the soldiers tasked with teaching it. It’s safe to say that you’ll see a fair amount more joking among Drill Sergeants in this video than you likely will encounter yourself at Basic Training, but that also serves as a valuable reminder that your Drill Sergeants are, in fact, human.
New U.S. Army recruits training at Fort Jackson are tasked with conquering the 40-foot tall tower in their first week of training. For recruits with a fear of heights, the tower represents their first major hurdle on the journey to becoming soldiers, but that’s actually by design. Ever since 1973, the U.S. Army has used Victory Tower to teach recruits that they can conquer their fears with a positive attitude and a willingness to push themselves.
“We have to get them to believe in themselves first before we can go on to the next phase which is working as a team,” Staff Sergeant Trevin Sparks explains. “Can you imagine 60 people who have never met before trying to work together as a team when they don’t even have confidence in their own abilities?”
A good mindset is essential at Basic Training, just like it is in combat operations. Soldiers that believe in themselves and in their teammates will always be operating at an advantage over those who feel uncertain about their circumstances. Victory Tower may be in the first week of training, but the mental skill set it helps soldiers to develop will continue to benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Watch the video below to get a better understanding of how the Army’s Victory Tower can help new recruits learn just how capable they are.
Feature photo: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton