LDAC arrivals say goodbye to civilian clothes
Khakis, polos, Sperry’s, and high and tight haircuts filled a corner of Louisville International Airport Monday morning and cadets arrived with green duffle bags in hand from all over the United States to attend Army ROTC Cadet Summer Training Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Knox.
One of the first cadets to arrive was Anthony Bryant, a student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, of the Fifth Regiment. Like many cadets, Bryant anticipates that LDAC will strengthen his leadership skills. More specifically, he hopes to work on his confidence.
“[At school] they kept calling me out for my confidence,” he said. “They said I know what I’m doing, but, just like sound more assertive with, it as in, ‘Yes, I know this is what we’re gonna do, there’s no question.’”
Bryant enlisted in the Army before joining ROTC at his university. He said his experience with ROTC has been rough, but has paid off.
“They say as far as transitioning goes, when you go from enlisted to the officer side, you’re learning all sorts of new terms, new chains of command, things like that,” he said.
A quest for leadership skills seemed to be the group’s main goal. Similar to Bryant’s additional task of gaining confidence, Ally Landry of the University of Illinois at Chicago plans to focus on gaining patience with her peers.
“I expect this to kind of culminate everything that we’ve gone over the last three years [in ROTC],” she said.
The heat was turned up, literally, as the cadets stood outside the arrival gate while waiting to board the buses. The temperature hit 91 degrees Fahrenheit by 4 p.m., a noticeable difference from the weather on Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington, where LDAC has taken place in the past.
“I’d have to say weather, first off, I mean it’s definitely different weather from Seattle,” 2nd Lt. Pablo Romero said.
Romero completed LDAC last summer as one of the last regiments to attend the training in Washington. His time as a cadre member this summer is his first official assignment with the Army after he was commissioned last month.
He believes his recent experience with LDAC will be beneficial to his cadets.
“I think it could be of some benefit to them,” the cadre said. “I can more empathize with the cadets that are here this year. Just relaying tips and just being there for them, really, if they need someone to talk to. So I think I could give them that since I’ve been there before.”
The schedule appears to be more rigorous this year, in Romero’s opinion. But, he said, it’s a welcomed change.
“Based on the training we’ve received for cadre, it does seem like they’ve raised the standards but I think it’s a good thing,” he said. “That’s how we get better cadets – if we expect more from them.”
What’s one piece of advice Romero would give to all the cadets?
“Bring a mosquito net,” he said, laughing. “That’s probably one of the biggest things. No one told me that.”