By Sydney Callis
Leader’s Training Course
The military is filled with traditions and customs. Passing on the military values to the next generation of Soldiers is one tradition prevalent at the Leader’s Training Course.
Cadets from schools across the country have different motivations for attending the course, but some chose to attend because they’ve seen firsthand how life in the military works.
Golf Company Cadet Amber Harris, a student at Missouri State University, grew up in a military family. Her father, Tyron, served in the Army for 20 years, and her mother, Valarie, served in the Air Force for 10 years.
“My parents are very disciplined,” Harris said. “They always make sure everything is orderly, and you can always talk with them. Being very disciplined and planning, they had to do a lot of that in the military, so I know how to keep everything in order.”
Also growing up in a military family, Matthew Herron, a Cadet in Golf Company and a student at Virginia Tech, witnessed the Army Values through his father, Col. Sean Herron.
“He’s been in the Army my entire life, and I’ve moved 14 times so far,” Herron said. “I’ve seen my dad do it for so long that I’ve always wanted to do it myself. He taught me how to be a leader. I’m inspired by what he’s done.”
Herron’s father introduced him to the Army Values throughout his childhood, especially when coaching him in sports.
“I’ve grown up with the values all my life,” Herron said. “Whenever I was getting down about something, he’d always say ‘duty first.’ I also love the sense of community in the Army, and that’s something I don’t want to leave. Everyone comes together, and it’s important to rely on people.”
Soldiers exemplify the Army Values beyond their years of service, as Golf Company Cadet Joseph Beatrice, a student at the University of Cincinnati, learned growing up.
Beatrice’s grandfather, Charles Donabedian, served in the military during Vietnam in the 101st Airborne as an infantryman and still serves as a member of the Army War College board. His service and advice inspired Beatrice’s decision to join the military.
“It’s an alignment of values,” Beatrice said. “It wasn’t an active part of my life growing up, but it’s something everyone in my family has done when they were younger. It’s a love of the ideas the United States were founded on and adhering to those founding principles and ideas.”
Although some Cadets, like Harris, have grown up in a military family and know the customs and traditions, they still have a lot to learn during their 29 days at the training course.
“You don’t learn things like drill and ceremony from your parents, but you do learn the values of the military,” Harris said. “I never asked my dad to show me how to do land navigation, but I knew some stuff coming in. My mom said if she could get through basic training, this should be easy for me.”
Herron said Fort Knox’s training course is giving him a more applied experience with the Army.
“I have a knowledge of the military, but I don’t have a practice of it.” Herron said. “Knowledge only goes so far, and so this has been a humbling experience because I came in thinking I knew a lot more than I did. I’m working hard and learning a lot.”