By: Whitney Allen
Photo By: Melissa Scott
Unlike LTC cadets, those in LDAC arrive on day one knowing what to expect. Although no one knows the gritty details, cadets are aware of the general subjects on which they will be evaluated. Despite knowing the basics of physical fitness tests, ruck marches, and land navigation, cadets are still nervous when they arrive.
Several ROTC cadets from Auburn University in Alabama were fortunate enough to be placed in the 9th Regiment together. Cadets Kelsey Brown and Frank Shaw arrived together, having ridden the same plane. “It was a lot of help, we both talked about what to expect,” Brown said.
Not only did the cadets help ease the nerves of one another before LDAC began but they also agree seeing a familiar face during training has been helpful. “It’s awesome seeing people you know,” Shaw said. “I did LTC last year and I didn’t know anyone.”
Getting to know other cadets is a huge part of summer training. After all, cadets spend every part of 29 days together. Following dinner, cadets can be seen hanging out in their tents telling stories, laughing and sometimes singing.
Cadet Huong (Mia) Nguyen is also an Auburn student and 9th Regiment cadet. Nguyen said one of the more challenging parts of LDAC has been learning how to mesh with everyone. “I think the hardest part is relating with everyone,” Nguyen said. “We all come from different backgrounds and schools.” Nonetheless, Nguyen has made new friends in her platoon but added it’s nice to see a familiar face during training.
Cadet Brown said she’s enjoyed breaching the gap between her Auburn friends and the other 9th Regiment cadets. “It’s easy to make friends and introduce them to my Auburn friends,” Brown said.
Prior to LDAC, not unlike every other cadet, these Auburn cadets admitted to being very nervous. But after some time on the ground, the nerves have dissipated. Cadet Shaw advises future Auburn LDAC cadets, to relax. “Don’t stress because we are really prepared,” Shaw said.
Cadet Brown agreed LDAC hasn’t been bad. “I felt really prepared,” Brown said. “This is kind of easy compared to Auburn. We came into it headstrong and very prepared.”