Spending 29 days in the woods of Fort Knox, Ky. going through Leader Development and Assessment Course is one thing. But agreeing to become a cadre member for a Leader Training Course company is something else entirely.
Taisean Andrews of Prairie View A&M in Houston, Texas graduated from 5th Regiment of LDAC on July 15. He said he would have about two days off before welcoming his LTC company to base.
“Well I wouldn’t say [I was] ‘voluntold’ but I mean it was pretty good decision,” Andrews said. “I volunteered to see what it’s like. And basically we’re just gonna be helping fellow cadets that’s younger than us try to get through the process to get prepared for stuff like LDAC.”
To prepare for his leadership position, Andrews talked to his cadre during LDAC. He said some of the LTC cadets are brand new to ROTC. Having just gone through LDAC, he felt he will be closer to the cadets than some of the older leaders.
“Most of them have never seen an [operations] order, done land navigation, or stepped in the field,” Andrews said. “We’ll let them know what to expect and help them out with time management, stuff like that.”
Caleb Friesen, a graduate of 5th Regiment LDAC who attends Cedarville University in Cedarville, Oh., is an enlisted National Guard member who learned about the opportunity to be an LTC cadre member through the Senior Military Instructor at his university.
“Our SMI just told us that brigade needed volunteers for it, so I volunteered and brigade picked me,” Friesen said. “And it gives you points for your accessions.”
He hopes to strengthen his leadership skills as a cadre member so he can help train both his LTC cadets and younger ROTC members at his university.
“I’ll be able to give them other thought-processes and strategies for how they can come up with stuff that they might not have thought of,” Friesen said. “It’s just a good experience where I can really help them get prepared for LDAC.”
He has high hopes for his second month on base.
“I hope it’ll be fun,” Friesen said with a laugh. “I hope I can have an impact on them and help them get a better grade so they can get what [branch] they want. It’s Army life, so you’re gonna have your ups and downs, but at the end of the day you just achieve a bigger goal.”
Anthony Steffany, a cadet-turned-cadre from Wentworth Military Academy in Wentworth, Mo., graduated from 1st Regiment of LDAC and serves as a cadre member for LTC India Company.
Steffany said he was “voluntold” to work as a cadre member and then went through a Cadre Certification Program to show him what to expect while being a leader.
“I went to LTC last year so I know,” he said. “I understand where they’re coming from. I think LDAC and LTC really prepared me to do what I’m doing right now.”
At only 19 years old, Steffany isn’t the average 4th year ROTC student.
“Some people don’t know that by doing LTC, they don’t have to do all four years of ROTC,” he said. “If you do LTC you can do two years, [then] commissioning. I came right after high school. Last summer I went to LTC, this summer I came to LDAC. And here I am.”