By Matthew Langston
Leader’s Training Course
After today, the 189 Cadets of Golf Company are one step closer to becoming commissioned officers and leaders in the United States Army.
Golf Company is the seventh and final company to graduate at the Leader’s Training Course, which has seen 1,232 Cadets complete training since the start of the summer.
Golf Cadets spent the last month overcoming fears, challenging themselves to go beyond what was expected and honing their leadership skills.
Training events such as the high-ropes course and rappel tower pushed Cadets to their limits. Cadets learned how to properly read a map and plot points to navigate themselves in unfamiliar terrain. They learned how to properly shoot a rifle and procedures for reorganizing themselves if their boat was to capsize.
Cadets rose early and went to bed late, working hard in between to become future leaders and Soldiers.
Maj. Gen. Jeff Smith, the commanding general for U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, congratulated the Cadets at Brooks Field on a job well done. He commended them on how far they had come.
“I know many of you standing here today had doubts about your confidence and capabilities, but I’m sure you are going to leave here much better than what you came as in terms of your individual abilities, your self-confidence and so forth,” Smith said.
David Ogan, a student at Coppin State University in Baltimore, attended LTC wanting to make a change in his life.
“I came here not really sure of what I was going to do,” Ogan said. “I decided to come here to challenge myself.”
Ogan said he has been a part of group projects at school that simply haven’t worked out, but LTC showed him what true camaraderie can accomplish. He said the greatest part of his time in the course was working together with his fellow Cadets toward common goals.
“It’s nice to be here for 28 days with the same people and have most things go right,” he said.
Leadership knowledge is something Cadet Forrest Hames will be taking away. Although he has been in various leadership roles at the University of Alabama, he said the course has taught him how to apply his leadership skills to situations and how to be more effective as a leader.
With no prior experience, Hames said the course presented itself to him as an opportunity to become a leader in the future.
“I see it as a new step,” he said.
Before coming to LTC, Ogan said he was shy. He said the course has helped him break out of that shell and exude more of a presence as training showed him what he was truly made of.
“I definitely know more about myself, and I am definitely more confident,” he said.
With LTC wrapping up, Ogan plans to contract in the future and wants to go into medical operations, although he is also considering aviation. No matter which direction he decides to go, Ogan knows the work and effort he put in this summer will help him accomplish his goals.
“I kept pushing myself to the extent I never thought I could go,” Ogan said. “When I see others going, I say, ‘Well if he can do it, I can do it.’ ”