FORT KNOX, Ky.- 1st Regiment Cadet Leaders Course (CLC) Cadets were reunited with their families after their 30-day training, at family day on June 29.
Family Day follows CLC’s intensive training where Cadets go through pre-deployment training, Mission Context Leadership Exercise and Recovery/Reflection/Goal Setting and departure. Family members were seated in Waybur theater to see pictures and video’s from training and hear from Cadre before being reunited with the Cadets.
Rick Catlett, father of Cdt. John Catlett of Virginia Tech University expressed his pride for his son.
“I’m really excited to see him and tell him how proud we all are. I’m assuming that his girlfriend, mom and sister will get the first hugs which is okay because i’m just excited to see him and hear about his training” Rick said.
Parents, siblings, grandparents and significant others were at family day not only to reunite with their Cadets but to show their support for the future Army officers. During the celebration families were shown a video tour of Fort Knox and an Army Family Strong video where family members of soldiers are recognized for their supportive service.
Regiment Commanders expressed feelings of pride in the Cadets and talked about the group being one big family, much like their families at home. Col. Matthew Ingram, Task Force Warrior Commander, thanked the families for entrusting the Cadet Summer Training (CST) Cadre with their sons and daughters for the duration of CLC.
The importance and impact of family was apparent when Cadets joined their family members, often greeting them with hugs and big smiles.
Cdt. Matt Gardner of Alpha Company 3rd platoon, from the University of Dayton, was overwhelmed with positivity and emotion when reunited with his parents.
“Word can’t describe how excited I am to be finished with training and to see my family. It’s hard to articulate how great it is to see them” Gardner said.
Cdt. Victoria Patrick of Delta Company 4th platoon from Marshall University could hardly contain her excitement.
“It feels so good to be able to see my family and celebrate with them the end of training. I’ve been waiting to see them and it’s just a really exciting day. Tomorrow is graduation and it just can’t get any better than this” Patrick said.
1st Regiment CLC graduates June 30 on Brooks Field. Among the family members at graduation will be family members of the 1st Regiment CLC honored fallen soldier, 1st Lt. Doyle Maurice Hufstedler III.
Hufstedler, a graduate of Texas A&M Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), was killed in action from an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Sunni Triangle in Iraq on March 31st, 2004. To commemorate Hufstedler’s exceptional character and how he truly lived the Army Values, 1st Regiment CLC operated under the motto “Always First, Die Hard”, the motto of the ‘Die Hard’ Battalion, 1st Engineer Battalion.