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Victory Tower: The First Step
by U.S. Army 1st Lt. Troy Preston - September 22, 2016

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Victory Tower on Fort Jackson is one of many required training events that new Soldiers have to pass in order to graduate basic training. Victory Tower is also the first of many trying tasks that will test Soldiers endurance, will, and courage. The privates of Foxtrot Company 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment faced Victory Tower, Aug. 23, 2016, as part of their journey to become the next batch of Soldiers ready to serve in United States Army.

August 23, 2016 - Soldiers of Foxtrot Company, 1st Battalion 34th Infantry Regiment prepare to descend the 40 foot wall known as Victory Tower at Fort Jackson, SC. The Soldiers of Foxtrot Company are being trained by both U.S. Army Reserve and active duty drill sergeants. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. Michael Adetula, 206th Broadcast Operations Detachment)
August 23, 2016 - Soldiers of Foxtrot Company, 1st Battalion 34th Infantry Regiment prepare to descend the 40 foot wall known as Victory Tower at Fort Jackson, SC. The Soldiers of Foxtrot Company are being trained by both U.S. Army Reserve and active duty drill sergeants. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. Michael Adetula, 206th Broadcast Operations Detachment)

Foxtrot Company 1-34 Infantry Regiment serves a unique purpose in the Army. The drill sergeants that train the Soldiers there are a mixture of Active Duty and Reserve Soldiers. That fact does not change the training that the Soldiers receive.

The purpose of Victory Tower is two-fold. First, it shows the Soldiers that they can overcome their fears and start to live the Army Values, specifically personal courage. Second, it is the first time that the drill sergeants get to see the Soldiers deal with stress and fear and how they react to it. This allows the drill sergeants to see that the Soldiers are committed and willing to continue with their training.

Army drill sergeant, Staff Sgt. Desirae Delarosa said, “It's something that they probably would not have done if they didn't join the Army.”

Victory Tower is not without its failures. Many Soldiers freeze when they step over the ledge of the 40 foot tower. There are those that are visibly shaken as they start their decent, others that are timid and unsure of their footing, and finally those that fall. For every failure, however, there is a success story that follows. All the Soldiers of Foxtrot Company, through stumbles and falls were able to make it down the wall and succeed like every Soldier that had come before them.

August 23, 2016 - Soldiers of Foxtrot Company, 1st Battalion 34th Infantry Regiment conduct the rope bridge obstacles at the Victory Tower complex. Foxtrot Company has a unique mission in the Army, it uses both active duty and reserve drill sergeants to train Soldiers going through Basic Combat Training on Fort Jackson, SC. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. Michael Adetula, 206th Broadcast Operations Detachment)
August 23, 2016 - Soldiers of Foxtrot Company, 1st Battalion 34th Infantry Regiment conduct the rope bridge obstacles at the Victory Tower complex. Foxtrot Company has a unique mission in the Army, it uses both active duty and reserve drill sergeants to train Soldiers going through Basic Combat Training on Fort Jackson, SC. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. Michael Adetula, 206th Broadcast Operations Detachment)

Victory Tower is an excellent training event, according to 1st Sgt. Anthony Childs, a U.S. Army Reserve drill sergeant from Asheville, N.C. “Part of it is motivational, part of it's to make sure they are following the Army Values, it's a graduation requirement, it's about building confidence. At the end of the day it's about building confidence.”

By U.S. Army 1st Lt. Troy Preston
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2016

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