Capt. James Thompson
Vanderbilt University Army ROTC
Army ROTC news
The message received by the Cadets was simple — be in formation at 5:45 a.m. Monday, ready to begin physical training (PT).
Monday morning PT is the norm for Vanderbilt University Army ROTC Cadets. However, on this day, Lt. Col. Chris Black, commander of Vanderbilt’s “Go Gold Battalion,” had arranged for an Army Ranger to lead PT.
Just having a Ranger lead PT is inspiring enough to bring out the best in the Cadets. But this was not just any Ranger. This was an instructor with the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, 75th Ranger Regiment.
This was a Ranger with four deployments to Afghanistan since 2009.
This was a Ranger who became the first amputee to serve in an operational role in combat as a result of wounds suffered in October 2005.
Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Kapacziewski was wounded in Iraq after an enemy grenade exploded in his vehicle. As a result of those wounds, Kapacziewski would endure countless hours of surgeries and rehabilitation, and ultimately, the amputation of his right leg 10 inches below his knee.
As Vanderbilt’s Cadets quickly learned, the wounds have definitely not slowed him down.
Cadet Andrew Steen, freshman mathematics major at Vanderbilt, described the PT session as the hardest, most intense PT he has done since joining the program. Steen regularly scores the maximum points possible on his Army Physical Fitness Test.
“I will not forget this morning,” Steen said. “Sgt. 1St Class Kap’s message was inspiring and informative. Plus, I will probably be sore tomorrow.”
Kapacziewski’s message to the Cadets stressed resilience and leadership.
He added that these future officers would be immediately judged on their physical fitness level. They would not need to be the fastest or the strongest, but they definitely must be resilient in their ability to overcome any obstacles or weaknesses.
Kapacziewski’s ability to lead from the front that morning said it all.
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Fort Knox news
Dueling Pianos at the Sabre and Quill
7 p.m., April 19, free admission: Dueling Pianos is a high energy, all-request, rock-n-roll, comedy piano show where the audience is just as much the show as the entertainer! Doors open at 6 p.m. and the fun starts at 7 p/m. Food and cash bar available. Seating is limited – first come, first served. Open to the public, must be 18 years and older. Call (502) 942.0959, ext. 210/211.
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