By Matthew Langston
Leader’s Training Course
Even after spending a few weeks at the Leader’s Training Course learning what it takes to be a Soldier, some Cadets still have questions about the Army life.
Each company at the Leader’s Training Course participates in a leadership panel, bringing together Soldiers of varying knowledge, backgrounds, rank and time served and giving Cadets a chance to get the answers they need.
“I think the leadership panels are truly just an open forum in which these Cadets can have a wealth of experience and ask truly any question that’s been burning in their mind,” said Monique Jesionowski, a member of LTC’s medical operations division and an Army nurse.
As a member of the six-person panel, Jesionowski understands many Cadets may not have had the opportunity to ask certain questions, or may not have gotten a knowledgeable answer from the media or someone who is not an expert on the service.
Considering the pros and cons of multiple branches is something Timmay Beale had not thought of up until the leadership panel. She said each Cadet has to take the time to sit down and decide what the best route is for them.
“I learned that there’s a difference between the National Guard, Army Reserves and the Army,” the Delta Company Cadet and student at Elizabeth City State University said. “That’s something all the Cadets have to think about, especially going into the military.”
As a member of the early commission program, Avery Eaton said he is taking away knowledge about the road to becoming an officer from the leadership panel. By pursuing a career in Special Forces, he has learned what he must do from his time at LTC.
“I learned that trying to get active duty as an officer is hard,” said the soon-to-be freshman at Marion Military Institute. “You have to make sure you get your PT score up and your grades.”
Although Beale hopes LTC will someday offer a day where Cadets are able to shadow an officer during a day of their job, she said the leadership panel made her think about her future career choices.
She said it’s important for Cadets to know how the Army functions and the questions asked of the panel helped her to grasp a better understanding of the Army. Consistency in answers from different people is something Beale said is beneficial.
Eaton said the panel was helpful for him by being able to hear Soldiers’ firsthand accounts of actual situations and experiences in the Army.
“It’s good to know somebody that’s been there and to know what they’ve been through,” he said.
The panel is geared toward helping Cadets, but Jesionowski said it can also benefit those who are on the panel.
“I think it gives us an opportunity to give back and interact with the future leaders,” she said. “In the next couple years, these are the people who are going to be the face of our Army.”