By Sydney Callis
Leader’s Training Course
When Marquis Reed arrived at Fort Knox to begin his time at the Leader’s Training Course, he knew what to expect.
Two years ago, Reed first travelled to Fort Knox to attend the Junior Cadet Leadership Course, or JCLC. The weeklong program is designed to provide high school students the
opportunity to experience new activities and learn about life in the military.
“JCLC is for young individuals,” said Reed, a Golf Company Cadet. “You start learning leadership there.”
Two months ago, Reed, a student at Jackson State University in Mississippi, returned to Fort Knox with the JCLC program, where he served as a platoon leader to mentor and lead current high school students through their experience at the course.
“From my first time to my second time, I learned more about leadership, as a platoon leader and being more mature around individuals,” Reed said. “Both times were a breeze, though.”
Reed was one of four college students selected to attend JCLC with the group from Jackson, Miss. Col. Paul Willis, director of the JROTC program in the Jackson Public School system, said he saw Reed grow as a person during this summer’s week at JCLC.
“At first, I think he was more focused on being a peer rather than being a leader so this presented an opportunity for him to realize that once he’s out there as a leader, he’s not a peer,” Willis said. “Over the few days we were there and as our instructors coached and counseled him, we saw a tremendous growth in his overall leadership skills from the first day to the last day we were there.”
After seeing the growth in the college students working with JCLC this summer, Willis said he definitely plans to continue having college-level Cadets attend.
The two experiences at JCLC also gave Reed the opportunity to go through many of the activities Cadets do during the Leader’s Training Course, something that comes in handy when his squad and platoon competes with others.
“I told him before he left that I expected him to be a top performer at the Leader’s Training Course because he had already gone through a lot of the same events the Leader’s Training Course Cadets do,” Willis said. “Been there, done that. He had like a primer course.”
Coming in handy with his current training, Reed’s experiences with the activities help his squad and platoon when in competition with other platoons in Golf Company. Reed said his past experiences with junkyard wars at the waterborne site helped his squad earn a record win this summer.
“We won the streamer for waterborne,” Reed said. “We actually beat the time of all the other platoons by almost 10 minutes. We were under 16 minutes, while other platoons were over 20 minutes.”
Although he’s been through some of this training course’s activities before, Reed said he’s still learning a lot during his 29 days at the course.
“I’ve worked on my patience since I’ve been here,” Reed said. “From day one to today, it’s been helping me on my patience, and I gained a lot of knowledge on leadership. Learning new, different things every day is the good thing about it. LDAC (Leader Development and Assessment Course) should be a breeze for me.”