By Crystal Allen
Leader’s Training Course
Cadets walk to each site in a unified march, yelling “left, left, left, right, left,” all in unison. For many, this is a new lifestyle.
Within the first three days at Leader’s Training Course, Cadets go through a process called soldierization. They learn how to march, make their bunks, courtesies of when to salute and when to recognize a drill sergeant and an officer.
“I would say the most difficult thing for them is probably marching,” said Sgt. Charmain Tolbert, an LTC drill sergeant. “Many of them have never been around the military in any shape, form or fashion and some of them just don’t have it.”
To help Cadets with little experience, instructors identify the people who have experience and pair them with a Cadet who doesn’t to instruct them further.
Cassie Debroisse, a junior at Westchester University, is one of those with that experience. She has been in ROTC for a semester and knew the majority of all the basics. However, working with a group was a different experience.
She learned how to better herself as a leader within two days of LTC.
“Leadership can’t be given out; you have to take the lead,” she said.
For Kenneth Mcalmon, an Alabama A&M University graduate, it wasn’t so easy. With no military experience, it was a “total life change” that helped him catch up quickly. He learned quickly he would have little free time building a time-management skill he will use the rest of his life.
“It’s teaching us to do what we got to do in a short amount of time,” he said.
Cadets learn the basics within the first few days because they are critical to succeed at LTC. Without being soldierized, Cadets would basically be attending a summer camp, Tolbert said.
“The basics that they learn here are the foundation for everything that we do in the military,” Tolbert said. “Learning to work together is a key to all of it.”
Although Debroisse needed little help with her basics, she still felt it was necessary for her to get the real experience of being a Soldier.
“If you don’t have the basics, you can’t move on,” she said.