Congratulations to Kentucky National Guard Capt. Brian Ladd of the 201st Engineer Batallion, who has completed Sapper training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

We’re all familiar with the Army’s Special Forces and Ranger training. Sapper training is the same kind of elite training, but for engineers.

Those in the 28-day Sapper school must endure the same physical challenges as those in Special Forces and Ranger training, but it doesn’t stop there. They must retain the ability to do complex thinking under great physical discomfort.

"There are two phases of training," Ladd explained. "In Phase 1, you’re averaging five or six hours of sleep. In the second half, you’re running missions 24/7 for the last seven days. I got 12 and a half hours of sleep."

Sapper candidates must be able to function at the highest possible level on one meal per day and minimal sleep and sometimes while cold. Ladd said that’s the most difficult part of the training, which includes demolition and explosives and air- and water-borne operations among other areas.

Ladd, who has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Murray State University and a master’s degree in strategic leadership from the University of Charleston, is to be commended on his dedication to the Kentucky National Guard and to his country. Most of us don’t have what it takes to do the work of engineers, especially under difficult circumstances.

Ladd is a fine example of the success that can be achieved by determination and physical and intellectual fitness. We are proud to have him as part of the community.

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