By Matthew Langston
Leader’s Training Course
Jeff Brady is a sailor who is transforming himself into a Soldier to pursue better educational opportunities and to sharpen his leadership skills.
Instead of waiting to attend the competitive Officer Candidate School, he decided to attend the Leader’s Training Course and continue his education in the process.
“There’s no point in me waiting so long and putting my school on hold when I can just kill two birds with one stone,” said the Charlie Company Cadet, who is a student at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
After deciding to transition to the Army, the cadre at his Slippery Rock informed him about LTC and told him the course would help him better understand officer leadership. Brady said some paperwork must be filled out upon his return to make his decision official.
“Once I get done with LTC, I will go back to my school and they will sign a contract of release from the Navy,” he said. “Then, I will be fully in the Army.”
Maj. Michael Brown, officer in charge for family day at LTC, was also a prior enlisted Soldier that made the jump to become an officer and understands the benefits being prior enlisted can give someone at the course. He said getting used to the military culture is something a person will already have done.
“Being prior enlisted gives you an experience level beyond those just coming in now,” he said. “You have to learn a way of life.”
Brown has been an officer for 10 years after serving as an enlisted Soldier for 12 years. He said with officer candidate school reducing enrollment, many prior enlisted troops have taken advantage of ROTC programs like LTC, leading more people down the officer path in recent years.
Brady has found other Cadets at LTC in situations similar to his.
“In the Navy, being enlisted, you are meeting people who don’t want to go to college just yet, or people who don’t want to further their education,” he said.
Brady is in the first year of his master’s program for criminology and hopes to continue his education at law school, all while becoming a commissioned officer.
Brady has heard some friendly banter from fellow Cadets and cadre about being in the Navy. In the midst of jokes and remarks, Brady said the Navy has been supportive of his switch, especially since he is trying to become an officer.
“It shows that it is bigger than Army versus Navy,” he said. “It’s all about one culture, the military, and serving America.”