Basic Camp

After a rough start, Echo Cadet becomes top motivator for his squad

Cadet Nabonidus Greene works his way through an event on the obstacle course. Photo by Jeremy Aaron.

Cadet Nabonidus Greene works his way through an event on the obstacle course. Photo by Jeremy Aaron.

By Sydney Callis
Leader’s Training Course

When Nabonidus Greene arrived earlier this month at Fort Knox for the Leader’s Training Course, he only had a semester of ROTC experience behind him.

Through the progression of the 29-day training course, however, Greene’s military knowledge, experience and training significantly improved.

“I got the main foundation of ROTC at the training course,” Greene said. “It’s important to use the skills that you learn and build upon them in order to be successful in this profession.”

At the beginning of the course, Greene, currently a civil engineering student at North Carolina A&T State University, struggled with passing the different training exercises, specifically combat water survival training, giving operation orders and the physical fitness test.

“I tried my best to at least learn as much as I can,” Greene said. “That way, when I come back to my campus, I can like take more swimming classes so I can pass it next time. I’m not a swimmer.”

Motivated by his goal to become an officer in the military, Greene put in extra work outside of the daily training to improve his scores.

“I failed the first PT test,” Greene said. “I made sure I maintained a good diet while I was here, and I worked out in the barracks every night.”

Second Lt. Matthew Smith, Greene’s squad tactical officer throughout the entirety of the training course, said a growth in confidence helped Greene be successful.

“The squad implemented a plan to do push-ups three times a day on their own,” Smith said. “He increased on everything. He’s the most motivated, and he’s the one the squad looks to when they’re having trouble.”

Just 10 seconds away from passing the Army Physical Fitness Test’s two-mile run, Greene’s efforts did lead to him pass the Basic Physical Fitness Test. However, he is still looking to improve and pass the Army’s test.

Greene’s boost in confidence also helped him with speaking in front of his peers when giving operation orders. Smith said at the beginning of the training course, Greene experienced difficulties in speaking and leading his fellow Cadets.

“Now when he briefs people, he’s a lot more clear and concise,” Smith said. “The stuttering he had at the beginning is pretty much gone. His confidence level went from where he would speak when he was in charge and that was about it to now, where he takes charge of the squad even when he’s not leadership.”

Counseling with Smith and support from his squad helped Greene successfully complete the course.

“The team-building I did with my squad tactical officer helped me get more confidence in myself,” Greene said. “It’s important to get that confidence to lead a squad or platoon into battle. My squad was very motivating, and we went through a lot together to realize our own strengths.”

Greene is looking toward his future with the Army and using everything learned this summer to teach to his fellow Cadets at his university’s battalion.

“I got the main foundation to grow upon at LTC,” Greene said. “There’s a lot of things our battalion can improve on and the skills I learned at LTC I can use to help build a much stronger battalion. I’m getting a lot of opportunities and experiences here most people would not get in the civilian world. It makes you a strong person.”


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