By: Lindsey Ross
FORT KNOX, Ky—A dreary sky and the threat of rain did not stop 549 cadets from marching across Brooks Field Monday. They were the fifth regiment of Cadet Leadership Course (CLC) to graduate from Cadet Summer Training (CST).
Cadet Kennard Harris, a rising senior at Bowie State University in Maryland, said, “It’s a great feeling knowing all the hard work we did from beginning to end finally paid off.”
Cadets completed a 29-day training course at Fort Knox, Kentucky. A commencement ceremony was held to honor their accomplishments. Maj. Gen. Peggy Combs spoke at the event, giving the audience an overview of what cadets faced while training.
“We’ve had everything from typhoon level winds to flooding to 98 degrees and 100 percent humidity,” Combs told the crowd.
The elements were not the only challenge cadets tackled this summer. Staff Sgt. Purnel Jeanpierre said they struggled with the adverse environment that came with being out of their comfort zones.
Purnel said, “They all had their own personal reasons for being here. Personal goals. Personal drives. I think that’s what got them through.”
Cadet Erika West, a senior at the University of Texas, said that patience and prayer were keys to her success.
Now that they have graduated, the cadets’ next step is to go back to school to finish their senior year of college. For many of the young men and women, this means saying goodbye to their comrades from summer training. Cadet Alexander Moore, a sophomore at Georgia Military College, said his battle buddies became his best friends throughout training.
Moore said, “I feel like I’ve known them my whole life. We can get through anything together.”
Families gathered at the ceremony to celebrate the achievement. Cadets were permitted to leave with their families or on a flight out of the Louisville Airport.