By: Adrienne Vititoe
The second round of ROTC cadets for Cadet Summer Training arrived at the Louisville International Airport Friday and received a warm welcome. These cadets traveled from all over the country in order to participate in Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) at Fort Knox.
Students typically come to CIET for a period of four weeks to learn firsthand what being in the Army is all about. Upon arriving at the airport, students found their luggage, checked in, got something to eat and found out which of them would serve as the Officer In Charge (OIC) for the day.
Since cadets are expected to jump right into leadership roles, which can be challenging, cadre are there to support them to the best of their ability.
“They may be confused or nervous and I can pretty much calm them down,” said Spc. Thorson, the cadre member tasked with greeting cadets and directing them toward the registration table.
Master Sgt. Garrett, the Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge (NCOIC) of airport detail, echoed Thorson’s sentiment.
“It’s all a new experience so anything we can do to really minimize frustrations is what we’re here to do,” Garrett said. “At the end of the day it has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with making sure these cadets are taken care of.”
“I’m jealous of all these guys because they’re just starting out and they’re full of energy and they’re really getting after what we’re asking them to do,” said Col. Pugliese, Task Force Leader commander. I always tell them I wish I could trade places with them. But you have to really love what you do and I always tell them if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life. And I still love the Army. It’s all about service to the nation.”
These are concepts the cadets seem to grasp already.
“It’s a great opportunity to pay for school, become a strong leader and serve my country,” said Cadet Sean Kelly from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kelly was selected as one of the day’s OICs. Even under pressure, Kelly exuded confidence.
“We’ll see what happens,” Kelly said. “I don’t think it will be too strenuous.”
Many cadets said they have a family history of military service which motivated them to consider a career with the Army.
“My grandfathers on both sides were Army,” said Marisa Passante from Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri. “I want to be a lawyer and be in the military so I looked into the JAG corps and figured this would be a good route.”