By Crystal Allen
Leader’s Training Course
Families looked upon the field of Charlie Company Cadets fanned out in front of them Tuesday with proud expressions as they watched their sons and daughters grow as individuals. After 28 grueling days of training, 172 Cadets successfully completed the Leader’s Training Course.
Although all Cadets might not become Soldiers and the ones who do may not serve for a long time, each Cadet had something in common.
“You will have had the honor of wearing the cloth of your nation,” said Brig. Gen. David MacEwen, adjutant general of the Army and the graduation’s guest speaker.
While at LTC, Cadets learned skills such as waterborne operations, how to shoot a rifle and land navigation.
“I learned the essentials of being a Soldier,” said Matthew Canavan, a junior at Hofstra University.
LTC not only helps Cadets learn the values of leadership and the skills needed to be a Soldier, it also teaches them skills they will use for rest of their lives.
“I’ll take away pretty much the fundamentals of my military bearing that I learned,” said Denzell Jackson, a junior at Louisiana State University. “My values that they instilled upon us here, they drilled into us every day.”
Coming into LTC, many Cadets didn’t know what to expect and had little military experience.
“I wanted to come here with an open mind,” Canavan said. “I was shocked when I first came here because of the drill sergeants and everything.”
Although they completed the course, the unknown led to some Cadets failing at some of their personal goals. Jackson would’ve liked to have taken charge more. Every Cadet at LTC is trying to become a leader, therefore, Jackson was unable to be in charge at all times like he prefers.
Being in the role of subordinate, however, helped him gain his leadership skills, too.
“You have to learn to become a follower in order to lead,” he said.
Throughout the 28 training days, there were tears, sweat and much pain. But now that it’s over, the Cadets said they have grown into leaders and possibly future Soldiers, making every minute worth it. Many considered LTC a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
For Jackson, the course wasn’t a struggle as long as he stayed motivated.
“If you just continue to believe that you have the potential and you can reach your potential, then it’s never a struggle at all,” he said. “You just have to keep believing in yourself and the people around you.”