Basic Camp

Cadets experience personal growth during LTC

A Cadet leads his squad through an event on the team development course. Photo by Peyton Hobson.

A Cadet leads his squad through an event on the team development course. Photo by Peyton Hobson.

By Crystal Allen
Leader’s Training Course

Each day at the Leader’s Training Course is long and hard. It pushes each of the Cadets mentally and physically.

They wake every morning by 5 a.m. and usually aren’t back in bed until 10 p.m.

A LTC Cadet reacts to the drill sergeants entering the bus upon arrival at Fort Knox. Photo by Corey Ohlenkamp.

A Cadet reacts to the drill sergeants entering the bus upon arrival at Fort Knox. Photo by Corey Ohlenkamp.

“When we push ourselves physically, it’s been a lot of fun,” Golf Company Cadet Gabriel Samson, a senior at the University of Montana said. “Mentally, the tough part is putting yourself in the team. Thinking about how your individual actions affect your presence of your leadership around the people that you will command and that command you.”

The Cadets are always doing something either in the classroom, overcoming an obstacle on a course or working with their drill sergeants. The 29-day course pushed each of them in different ways.

“I’ve never had a summer like this before; it’s been exciting,” Echo Company Cadet Blake Bill said.

The primary goal at LTC is to teach Cadets qualities that will help them in and outside the Army; qualities such as leadership, determination and teamwork.

“I feel like I can do anything or lead any group into any task,” said Foxtrot Company Cadet Elliot McDaniel, a junior at the University of Alabama.

A Cadet faces his fear of heights on Fort Knox's rappel tower. Photo by Rebecca Thompson.

A Cadet faces his fear of heights on Fort Knox’s rappel tower. Photo by Rebecca Thompson.

Each Cadet learns the Warrior Ethos and takes to heart its mantra: I will never quit. Golf Company Cadet Chayden Young has done things at LTC he never thought was possible. He’s terrified of heights, and to successfully complete the course, he had to rappel off a 50-foot tower.

“Going over the edge and relying on the ropes, relying on other people and not just relying on myself,” said Young, a junior at the University of Utah. “That’ll carry over into life.”

While being at LTC, Cadets had to gave up a part of their summer. They were unable to see family and friends and were barely able to contact them. For some Cadets, it was difficult.

“The military will give me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had without it, the sacrifices that we make will be worth it,” Young said.

Bill, a sophomore at Tarleton State University in Texas, greeted his family after LTC as a different person.

“I changed a whole lot,” he said. “The way I’m going to live my life from here and when I go back home has been a positive change.”

A platoon of Cadets stands at parade rest during their graduation ceremony. Photo by Michael Noble.

A platoon of Cadets stands at parade rest during their graduation ceremony. Photo by Michael Noble.

For most Cadets, their Army experience isn’t over. The majority of them will soon return to their campuses and are planning on contracting with the knowledge they gained at LTC.

“My experience at LTC has been an eye-opener. It’s been an eye-opener to the military, to the military lifestyle, the disciple, the hard work, the team effort that is put forth,” Young said. “It’s been a good experience; it’s been positive. I’ll take things that I’ve learned here, and I’ll use them for the rest of my life.”

 

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