By Alex Mclaughlin
FORT KNOX, Kentucky–
“I’ve been raised my entire life learning the Army values,” Moon said. “I consider it an honor and a privilege to follow in my father’s footsteps.”
Karl Moon, Cadet at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., is a third-year ROTC Cadet leading a squad of young Cadets through their training at Fort Knox this summer through the new Coach-Mentoring Internship program.
This is a task easier said than done.
This is the first year that both Leader’s Training Course and the Leader Development and Assessment Course will take place at the same military installation. More than 8,000 Cadets and 3,000 Cadre will participate in the training offered at Fort Knox this summer, which offers some of the toughest training conditions.
Completion of LDAC is a critical stepping-stone for those Cadets who wish to commission as an officer after college graduation. LTC provides young individuals with the opportunity to test their compatibility with military service.
Some Cadets find the transition into the military lifestyle shocking while others find it easy. Whatever disposition the Cadets may have, Moon has the responsibility of ensuring these cadets succeed at LTC.
During the month of June, Moon will have the opportunity to put his leadership skills into practice as he guides the LTC Cadets. Moon, however, looks forward to his own opportunities during LDAC in July.
“I have many role models in the Army,” Moon said. “They provided me the guidance to get where I am today. I look forward to completing LDAC so I can fulfill my dream of becoming an officer after graduating college.”
Cadet Summer Training gives Cadets the opportunity to display and hone leadership skills in a military environment that emphasizes teamwork and teambuilding. CST is tough. High humidity and high temperatures compound the difficulties of the rigorous training schedule, but Cadets such as Moon maintain a positive attitude and look forward to the opportunities provided at CST.
“I have fun doing all this stuff,” Moon said. “You have to make the most of what you get. It is hot and many people have a hard time dealing with that, but in the end this experience is worth it.”
Moon, while in his role as Coach-Mentor, finds his main priority is keeping Cadets motivated. Keeping the morale of the LTC Cadets high is something that tests the full range of the Coach-Mentors’ leadership abilities.
“I’m used to the professionalism of the Army,” Moon said. “My father is a Major and he taught me how important respect for others is in the Army. I try to maintain that image with my Cadets. We are here to learn and complete a mission. We stay positive and work through our tasks together.”
Moon has met many people in the Army that he considers role models. Lt. Col. Travis Southwick, Military Science Professor at George Mason University, gave Moon advice that has stuck with him during his time at Leader’s Training Course.
“He told me the reason why we are here is to do whatever it takes to help others succeed,” Moon said. “That is why I am here and that is what keeps me motivated.”