By Crystal Allen
Leader’s Training Course
Andrew Steigner has wanted to join the Army since he was a child. Both of his grandfathers were in the Army and his father, a large influence on him, was in the Air Force.
“Since a young age I’ve wanted to serve my country,” said Steigner, a junior at Pennsylvania State University. “So now’s the time to just go ahead and do it.”
Steigner is one of the 171 Cadets who arrived Monday at Leader’s Training Course. Cadets come from all over the United States and use LTC as an opportunity to catch up on ROTC that would’ve been taught during the freshman and sophomore years of the program.
“This is a really good place to start,” said Natalie Matos, a junior from the University of Alabama. She is using LTC as a testing ground to see if the Army is the career path she wants to choose. The Army appeals to her because of the opportunities it could give her as an officer and a civilian.
Another Cadet ready to use those opportunities is Shannon Coopar. She wants to be a military psychologist, hopefully stationed somewhere in the United States.
She hopes to work with returning veterans and their families.
“My friends, they come home and they’re all messed up and nobody even asks them, ‘What’s wrong?’ ” said Coopar, a senior at Niagara University.
Foxtrot Company is one of the more unique companies at LTC this summer. It is comprised of more females than any of the previous five companies to have already arrived at LTC with 75 female Cadets.
Having friends in the Army, Coopar has heard of some discrimination against women Soldiers, but she’s not intimidated by it and doesn’t expect to see it at LTC.
“It’s hard to prove yourself because people always feel bad for women, so it’s hard to actually do the same thing as men,” she said.
Discrimination isn’t the thing Coopar fears most about LTC. It’s change in weather.
“Since I’m from up up North, this humidity is going to kill me,’” she said.
Steighner has never been to Kentucky, either. But he feels his training outside has prepared him as much as possible for the heat.
He’s here to soak up as much knowledge as he can and use LTC as a learning experience.
“I’ve just been anticipating this day for a while, so now that it’s finally here … I finally get to see everything unravel,” he said.