By Sydney Callis
Leader’s Training Course
As the four platoons marched in front of the reviewing stand at Brooks Field, 184 Cadets graduated from the Leader’s Training Course Wednesday morning.
Their 29 days of training might be over, but Bravo Company Cadets aren’t going to forget what they’ve learned during their time at the course.
“It’s probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” said Cadet Collis Martin of Newbury College in South Carolina. “Seeing everybody overcoming their fears and challenging themselves every day was great.”
The graduation signifies more than just completion of the course for Cadet Renae Hagood, who is working toward her master’s degree at Baylor University in Texas.
“It’s a great accomplishment for me,” Hagood said. “I just graduated from Baylor for my undergrad, and this is a better feeling than that graduation because I’m doing something for my country. It seems like I did more, had to put more effort into it and had to overcome more obstacles to get to this graduation.”
Although Hagood said it was weird for her at the beginning of the course because most other Cadets are still working on their undergraduate degrees, the camaraderie cultivated during the training is something those graduating intend to keep intact when returning to their respective universities.
“We weren’t as close at the beginning, but after we kept doing teamwork exercises and training, we got a lot closer,” Hagood said. “I feel like some of these people are my family. We depended on each other a lot to get to this point.”
From rappelling to drill and ceremony practice and land navigation training, Cadets grew closer as a unit as the training progressed.
“At first, it took us a while to get together, and at one point, we just clicked and got going,” said Cadet Jordan Clemente of Weber State University in Utah. “After waterborne ops, we got a wake-up call from our drill sergeants that we need to work together because we were in the lead and lost it when we couldn’t work together.”
Although distance is going to separate many Cadets, they have made plans to counteract the miles.
“We’ve already made a Facebook page,” Martin said. “We’ve also got each other’s numbers and everything to stay in touch.”
The teamwork and bond created by the Cadets in Bravo Company is just one of the things they are going to be taking away from their training.
“It was a good 29 days,” Clemente said. “I learned a lot, but we got it all done. It really does teach you how to be loud and vocal in leadership positions.”
Cadets said the leadership skills and discipline acquired during the course are a direct result of Bravo Company’s own leadership.
“The drill sergeants and the squad tactical officers taught us how to be a leader,” Martin said. “Not just a leader, but also a follower. We had great leadership.”
For some Cadets, these days of intense training at Fort Knox re-instilled their desire to join the military when they complete college.
“I feel excited,” Hamilton said. “I feel motivated, and I’m ready to continue my career as an Army officer.”