By Alex Mclaughlin
Feature Photo by Erica Lafser
FORT KNOX, Kentucky—
Leader Training Course Regt. 1 became the first group of Cadets to successfully complete their summer training Monday at Fort Knox.
The completion of the 29-day training course means these Cadets can now make the decision to enter a contract with ROTC, which would put them on the path to become officers in the Army.
The realization of their accomplishments started to sink in Sunday when cadets and their families were reunited during family day, which was held at the Patton Museum in Fort Knox.
The LTC Regt. 1 Cadets arrived at Fort Knox June 1st and faced a tough month of training at CST.
Patrick Thomas, ROTC Cadet at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio, said he has mixed feelings about his time at Fort Knox coming to an end.
“It has been fun here at Fort Knox,” Thomas said. “I am surprised graduation is here. This month just flew by, but I am ready to be with family and go home.”
Cadets dealt with early mornings, tough drill sergeants and busy training schedules. Many cadets consider CST to be a life-changing experience and are already planning their next trip to Fort Knox to complete Leader Development Assessment Course.
Dustin Retherford, ROTC Cadet at University of West Florida in Pensacola, loved the experience at Fort Knox.
“This was a great challenge for me,” Retherford said. “The training went smoothly and I made great friends here. I can’t wait to come back for LDAC.”
August Nuutinen, ROTC Cadet at North Dakota State University in Fargo, said he looks forward to the down time with family after graduating.
“I thoroughly enjoyed LTC even though I got through it with little sleep,” Nuutinen said. “I’m ready to go home and be with family.”
Cadets came away with more than the opportunity to commission as Army officers.
Brent Bowen, ROTC Cadet at University of New Mexico in Albequerque, said the commitment it takes to finish LTC is worth it because of the skills acquired during the training.
“This was great for building my leadership skills,” Bowen said. “It definitely built on what I had already experienced in ROTC; reinforced my discipline and made me more confident. I am excited to go back to my university and be a better leader for our program.”