Approximately 901 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadets from the 9th and 10th Regiments graduated from the 2013 Leader Development and Assessment Course July 28 during a short graduation and commissioning ceremony at Watkins Field on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. As part of the ceremony, 24 Cadets from the 9th Reg. and 23 Cadets from the 10th Reg. were sworn in and pinned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.
The ceremony capped off 29 days of leadership-infused training designed to develop each Cadet’s leadership abilities through a sequentially organized training schedule that incorporated the basic necessary skills to become an effective military leader.
During the ceremony, eight Cadets were honored for individual accomplishments that set them apart from their peers. From each regiment, awards were handed out for distinguished honor graduate, honor graduate, the top male and female Army physical fitness test scores and the Cadet that best represented the Warrior Ethos, a term coined to reflect the embodiment of a Soldier.
Recognized as the top overall Cadets from each regiment were – Cadet John Fitzsimmons, Alpha Co., 9th Reg. from Creighton University (9th Reg. Distinguished Honor Graduate), Cadet John Keenan, Bravo Co., 10th Reg. from Indiana University (10th Reg. Distinguished Honor Graduate), Cadet Raul Mancera, Alpha Co., 9th Reg. from Campbell University (9th Reg. Honor Graduate), and Cadet Jose Targa, Bravo Co., 10th Reg. from the University of Georgia.
Recognized as the top male and female APFT scores from each regiment were – Cadet Christopher Polo, Bravo Co., 9th Reg. from University of North Carolina at Charlotte (9th Reg. top male APFT score with 350), Cadet Marco Presichi, Alpha Co., 9th Reg. from Columbus State University (9th Reg. top male APFT score with 350), inate Timothy Nelson, Alpha Co., 10th Reg. from the University of Wisconsin- Steven’s Point (10th Reg. top male APFT score with 405), Cadet Sabina Fischer, Bravo Co., 9th Reg. from University of Notre Dame (9th Reg. top female APFT score with 346) and Cadet Jacqueline DeRocher, Alpha Co., 10th Reg. from Norwich University (10th Reg. top female APFT score with 364).
Finally, a Cadet from each regiment was chosen that best represented the Warrior Ethos. Cadet David Bonham, Alpha Co., 9th Reg. from University of North Georgia was chosen from 9th Reg. and Cadet Kevin Gerow, Alpha Co., from University of Nevada was chosen from 10th Reg.
The leadership course is one of the final steps for Cadets prior to completing the ROTC program and entering the Army as commissioned officers. Cadets that were not commissioned during the ceremony are scheduled to return to their ROTC programs to finish out the commissioning requirements.
Story by Sara Nahrwold.