Just like that, the cadets are completing their final training segment for their first year with Chazak. It’s been a wild first year of training, learning, growing, stretching, and hard work.
The cadets are currently in their sixth week of training at Deadwood Outfitters, our newly purchased training facility in Cascade, ID. With its remote and rugged location, it’s the ideal location for the intensive seven-week segment that makes up 1.5.
So, what is 1.5 training?
(Aka) the Alpha Challenge is currently taking place in the rugged wilderness environment of western Idaho. The focus for this seven-week segment is on physical training and hard skills, preparing the cadets for the lifestyle they will face on a deployment.
1.5 is made up of a mix of classroom instruction, hands-on training, and exercises for hard skills. The cadets are covering topics such as Communication, Character, Soccer, Ropes (recreational), Security, Navigation, Survival, and Physical Fitness.
The most restrictive training environment to date, 1.5 is highly structured and physically intense and is interspersed with a healthy dose of irregular days and unexpected changes. Through this, the cadets are challenged to be highly disciplined and maintain structure in an environment that keeps changing, sometimes unexpectedly.
In addition, the cadets are currently living without many of the modern conveniences they are used to. In many ways, this segment is designed as a scenario to test the fundamentals the cadets have learned earlier in the year.
And what does it include?
With two scheduled inspections each week and any number of “surprise inspections” that cover informal uniform, hygiene, their campsite, gear, backpacks, or classroom/study space, the cadets are expected to be squared away at all times.
Cadets are currently “off the grid” with very limited contact with the outside world. The cadets don’t have access to their cell phones, email, or social media during this segment, and internet access is limited to work and study only.
While the menu is healthy and filling, the diet on 1.5 focuses on health and energy, not taste or richness. For that reason, meals don’t include dessert and snacks are strictly healthy foods.
With no running water at their camp, the cadets are required to dig latrines and carry and treat any water they need. The cadet’s hot water usage has been limited to one 15-minute hot shower once a week.
The many different environments the cadets are facing are deliberate as a part of learning to “Lead Yourself” in many different environments. In addition to physically living out of their backpacks, the cadets are also expected to live spiritually “out of their backpacks.”
This means they take ownership of their own worship times as they would need to do if they were in the field with no access to any churches or other believers. Through this, the cadets are learning to “lead yourself,” relying on what they carry with them as a team for both their physical and spiritual wellbeing. This is to prepare them for deployments where they will be isolated without a working infrastructure or spiritual fellowship.
Update on the Advance Team
Currently, the Advance Team is conducting rescue operations and facilitating training for Ukrainian rescue teams. The team is at the start of their seven-week deployment and are providing much needed humanitarian assistance to those affected by the war in Ukraine. If you want to join with the Advance Team in touching the people of Ukraine, you can give here.
And Now to You:
Please join with us in prayer for the Advance team as well as the Cadets as they wrap up their first year with Chazak.
Thank you so much for your continued interest in the work here at Chazak. We’re excited to see God’s hand at work.
Until next time!