Basic Camp

Army Reservists play crucial role in Operation Bold Leader

David Osborne, sergeant first class, E4 specialist from Fort Hood, mentors cadet Alvin Thomas, junior at Springfield University, during the water survival training course on June 20, 2013. "Alvin just needed that extra push to finish the challenge," Osborne said. "I knew he had it in him. He didn't belong in the 'I don't know how to swim group.'" Osborne is also a member of the Army Reserves, and enjoys coming to Fort Knox voluntarily to mentor cadets during the Leadership Training Course. Photo by Peyton Hobson

Sgt. 1st Class David Osborne, from Tallahassee, Fla., mentors Cadet Alvin Thomas of Springfield University during the water survival training course Thursday. “Alvin just needed that extra push to finish the challenge,” Osborne said. “I knew he had it in him. He didn’t belong in the ‘I don’t know how to swim group.’ ” Osborne is a member of the Army Reserves and said enjoys coming to Fort Knox to mentor cadets during the Leader’s Training Course. Photo by Peyton Hobson

By Sydney Callis
Leader’s Training Course

While their fellow Reservists are working two days a month, the part-time Soldiers at the Leader’s Training Course are working full-time for several weeks this summer away from home.

Whether it is running the land navigation and basic rifle marksmanship sites, doing paperwork or being drill sergeants in the companies, the U.S. Army Reservists are a large part of the manpower executing the LTC mission.

The more than 470 Reserve Soldiers working at the course, among the more than 800 total cadre members, are taking time from their everyday life to use their own training to train the future leaders of the Army.

Like a majority of the Cadets in the course, the Reserve Soldiers come from outside the Kentucky. The mission was given to the 108th Training Command, whose Soldiers either volunteered or were assigned. They have come from the 95th, 98th and 104th Training Divisions.

Reserve Soldiers have taken on a greater presence at LTC in recent years due to base realignment that moved active duty resources from Fort Knox.

Sgt. Jonathan Patterson, a Bravo Company drill sergeant, is stationed out of West Palm Beach, Fla., and volunteered for the assignment.

“Throughout our drill sergeant duties, we have the opportunity to support the LTC mission,” Patterson said. “This is one of the tasks our brigade puts forth, so I had the chance to come out here and help out with the future officers of the United States Army.”

This summer’s course marks the third time for Sgt. 1st Class David Osborne, an Alpha Company trainer based out of Tallahassee, Fla. Osborne said he enjoys coming to train each summer because of the opportunity to motivate and support future Army Soldiers.

”I think this is an outstanding mission,” Osborne said. “I have several drill sergeants in my company that have done this mission before, too, and everybody is doing an outstanding job.”

While the Leader’s Training Course offers Cadets many opportunities to grow mentally and physically, it also offers the Reserve Soldiers a variety of opportunities.

The opportunity to meet new people and gain experience from the training sites drew some Reservists, like Spc. Nickolus Copeland, to the course.

Preparing to enter his senior year at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga., Copeland is the tactical operations center operator at the stream-crossing site. He said working at the training course provides him with a chance to gain firsthand experience with active duty Army life.

“I went straight to the Reserve component for college,” Copeland said. “My plan is to go ahead and hit my senior mark in college and then put in a packet for Officer Candidate School and go active from there.”

While Copeland is gaining firsthand experience of active duty at LTC this summer, he and all Reservists keep up to date with their Army training throughout the year by attending battle assembly one weekend a month.

At battle assembly, Reservists refresh their physical fitness and training. They also work with local JROTC programs in high schools and judge drill and ceremony competitions. Patterson said the training at battle assembly keeps them prepared to execute the LTC mission.

When his 45 days at LTC are up, Staff Sgt. Todd Griffith, an Alpha Company trainer, said he would definitely come back to train during next year’s course.

“I enjoy it all,” Griffith said. “That’s why I like this mission.”

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