For many Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadets, the Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. is a chance to build, improve and evaluate strength. Whether it’s carrying fellow Cadets during first aid, hiking through the Washington wilderness or enduring early morning physical training, LDAC demands physical prowess.
While most Cadets enter the course prepared, others take physical training to a whole new level. For 7th Regiment Cadet Brian White, a psychology student at Cleveland State University and a power-lifting record holder, testing strength is a way of life.
The Cleveland, Ohio native has spent years competing in international power-lifting competitions and boasts an International Powerlifting Association record in the bench press.
“The strength training I acquired [through power-lifting] definitely translates over here through physical fitness, which is one of the primary ways of gauging Cadets skills and motivation, so I really feel like it’s helped me out,” said White.
White’s motivation for joining the Army was a desire to maintain focus after high school. After school he wants to pursue a career as a behavioral psychologist and believes becoming an officer will help him achieve his goal.
“I knew I was very good with people and I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to branch off to other opportunities,” said White. “The best way I thought I could facilitate that was through the United States Army and ROTC.”
Following White’s graduation from LDAC July 23, his journey to become a psychologist continues as he heads to Landstuhl, Germany for an internship with the Army’s medical services.
Becoming a leader is also important to White, who aims to improve his communication abilities with others.
“I want to…better understand how to interact with my peers and how to be a leader without infringing on other people’s emotional states at different points,” said White.
Whether he’s crawling through the dirt in camouflage, power-lifting 100 pounds or flying across the world, White knows the skills he learns at LDAC this summer will be a strong foundation for his future endeavors. He one day hopes that the lessons he learns as an officer will translate into a career of service and helping others.
Story by Samantha Saldivar.