Story by Alex Mclaughlin
Feature Photo by Erica Lafser
FORT KNOX, Kentucky –
Leaders Training Course cadets found themselves facing the first real test of their mettle Tuesday at the Dunnegan Team Development Course.
Leaders Training Course is a four-week, intense training program at Fort Knox, Ky. Cadets who complete this training program will qualify for enrollment in the Army ROTC Advanced Course, which completes the military education of ROTC cadets.
The Dunnegan Team Development course is the first step in the direction of completing this process. The obstacle course included four separate tasks, which would test the cadets’ problem solving skills and provide them with their first opportunity to display their leadership abilities.
2nd Lt. Cristian Serrano, who was evaluating cadets as they completed their missions, said these obstacle courses bring out the leadership role in the cadets.
“Some cadets come here having already experienced these types of obstacles and have their own way of completing them,” Serrano said. “More importantly, these obstacles give the cadet acting in a leadership role the opportunity to take control of the squad and be a leader.”
The cadets found themselves coping with difficult obstacles, a complicated mission to complete and a time limit to complete the mission. The pressure from the time limit put stress on the cadets and forced them to work efficiently as team.
Jacob Towse, ROTC cadet at Norwich University, said experiencing these situations helps the cadet acclimate to life in the Army.
“Time limits help get the cadets used to the military lifestyle,” Towse said. “Some cadets find it hard to move at a quick pace. Exercises like the obstacle course take cadets outside their comfort zone.”
Denzel Prince, ROTC cadet at Bowie State University, said his team benefitted from the challenging conditions on the obstacle course.
“Sometimes the time penalties would set us back,” Prince said. “I have a solid team though, so we completed the tasks. Completing the tasks definitely builds confidence and moral.”
After each mission at the Dunnegan Team Development Course, the cadets are asked to recount every aspect of the mission and assess their own actions. The LTC program is built to benefit cadets in not just the military lifestyle, but any career path they may choose.
Joshua Ater, ROTC cadet at Morehead State University, said these benefits are what attracted him to ROTC and what encouraged him to attend the LTC program this summer.
“I joined because I wanted to change my life for the better.” Ater said.