By Sydney Callis
Leader’s Training Course
Standing in the rows of Waybur Theatre, 191 Delta Company Cadets graduated from the Leader’s Training Course Saturday, July 27.
Although rain moved the ceremony inside, Cadets were still excited and proud to be finishing their training on Fort Knox.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” said Cadet Mark Jeude of Marion Military Institute in Alabama. “I’m glad to graduate, and it makes me feel one step closer to getting my commission. This course enhanced my decision to go into the military.”
As the 29 days of training advanced, the relationships between the Cadets strengthened. Cadet Meghan Guerrera, currently a student at Temple University in Pennsylvania, said she’s going to miss her fellow Cadets.
“I’m sad about leaving everyone,” Guerrera said. “That was the best part of it, being around everyone all the time. I’d really like to stay in contact with everyone.”
Miles are going to separate many Cadets when they return home, but they have made plans to keep in touch.
“We’ve all become really good friends,” said Cadet Allison Kaminski of Purdue University. “I’ve added some people on Snapchat, and we all know where we go to school, so if we’re ever near there we can meet up.”
Jeude said the all day, every day training at the course contributed to the close bonds within the platoons and squads of the company.
“We’ve lived with each other for almost 30 days,” Jeude said. “You really get to know people, where they’re from, how they were brought up. We’re basically like a family.”
Even though they can’t take their peers with them when they return to their schools, Cadets will be taking everything they learned during their time at Fort Knox to utilize and teach their fellow Cadets in their battalions.
“I definitely learned how to be a better leader, how to speak up, how to be more confident,” Kaminski said. “I think everything I learned here will make me ten times a better leader when I return to school.”
Jeude said the experiences and lessons learned at the Fort Knox training course is going to be helpful in his preparation for the Leader Development and Assessment Course, or LDAC.
“Everyone in the graduation class of Delta Company will be ready for LDAC next summer because we were the best company out here,” Jeude said.
Everything learned at the course is beneficial, Guerrera said, even to those with no interest in joining the military or those unsure of their future with their Army.
“You have a purpose every day, something to get up for,” Guerrera said. “I would recommend this course for anyone, even if they’re not interested in joining the military. It teaches you confidence, leadership attributes, interpersonal communication skills and discipline.”
Under the soft drizzle, the four platoons stood in formation outside the company barracks after the ceremony. The Delta Company drill sergeants presented Cadets with their diplomas, signifying their successful completion of the course.
“It’s a good moment, because we’re finally rewarded for everything we’ve done in the almost four weeks of really hard training,” Kaminski said. “I’m glad to be going home to see my family, but it’s a bittersweet feeling to leave.”