Three cadets commission around walls of leadership
By DeJanay Booth
The words, “Character and ethics guide leaders in making difficult and selfless choices,” are posted along a wall in the Patton Museum at Fort Knox, Ky. The museum’s namesake, Gen. George Patton, spent years of his life serving in the Army as a great leader and officer, and set an example for officers in the future.
Three of those future officers were commissioned on Aug. 10 in the museum after completing Leader Assessment and Development Course (LDAC) 13th Regiment. Newly-commissioned 2nd Lts. Lillian Hoffer, Cornelius Lee and Evan Richards stood before Brig. Gen. (promotable) Peggy Combs, the commanding general of U.S. Army Cadet Command, and took the oath of office.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Combs made a few remarks to all of the attendees but framed some of her remarks to the three commissionees.
“Are you ready for this?” she asked them. In unison, they replied, “Yes, ma’am.”
One by one, they were given their first salute and presented the traditional silver dollar coin as a sign of gratitude. LDAC cadets, who were graduating the following day, came to the ceremony to show support. Richards said he was more than ready for commissioning.
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “It’s a good way to end LDAC.”
“I totally agree,” said Hoffer, a graduate from University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. “This is a nice way to end the summer, being able to get to the Army officially as an officer. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Lee, a recent graduate from The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., said he checked his uniform several times the night before to make sure everything was correct. For him, Cadet Summer Training (CST) was not what he expected.
“It was different. It’s a lot of patience you have to have. One day you might have the position to lead and the next day you have to sit back and let them do their own thing.”
Two hundred cadets were commissioned this summer at the end of their 29-day training. Hoffer, Lee and Richards were the last to raise their right hand and take the oath. In a dimly room, they were surrounded by museum displays, signifying with years of experience.
All three agreed that their journey in LDAC would not have been the same without their fellow cadets and cadre members. There is one thing that the new second lieutenants are looking forward to as an officer.
“Not being called a cadet,” Richards laughed.
“Definitely that,” Hoffer said.