FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from 2nd Regiment, Cadet Leaders Course (CLC), upon completion of their training, graduated in front of family, friends and supportive cadre at Brooks Field July 6.
“I’m very proud of him. He really likes the guys he met and the friendships he made with people from all over. He felt like he was very prepared because of his drill sergeants,” said Denise Berry, mother of Cdt. Cameron Hackett. “I’m impressed with his commitment to bettering himself and I think this was one step on his journey to becoming a man.”
2nd Regiment CLC has 581 graduating Cadets, representing every state and territory in the U.S. They are also part of the first graduating class in the second century of Army ROTC.
Command Sgt. Maj. Kenny Clayborn hopes the Cadets use the lessons they’ve learned and the friends they’ve made at Cadet Summer Training in the future.
“I think this is a great opportunity for them to move on, to learn as they enter their MS4 year, to take the lessons they learned and develop into lieutenants in the Army,” Clayborn said. “Hopefully these Cadets have learned the value of teamwork and collaboration, were able to network and meet new peers they can rely on and stay in touch with throughout their time in the military after they commission.”
During the ceremony, 13 Cadets were also recognized with awards from the community for different leadership skills demonstrated during their training. Cdt. Dana Kristensen, Temple University, was awarded the Norton Healthcare Award. The Norton Healthcare Award was given to a nursing student who performs well under stressful situations.
“I was surprised and I’m really honored,” Kristensen.
Kristensen had this to say about a situation in which she had to perform under pressure.
“After we came back from the field, I was 1st Sgt. of my entire company so I was in charge
of 153 people as we had to do a layout. I was stressed because I had to be assertive and strict, which contradicted my normal personality, but it was necessary because we only had so many hours and we had to get it done. In the end sergeant major said everything looked good so it turned out really well but it tested my abilities and I believe it made me a stronger leader.”
Col. Matthew Ingram, reviewing officer, gave this final leadership advice to the Cadets before their pass in review,
“Be respectful. Be trustworthy. Be self-aware. Be yourself.”
The 2nd Regiment of CLC was named in honor of Capt. Gregory T. Dalessio who was fatally wounded in Iraq, Baghdad. Dalessio deployed to Iraq with 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Baumholder Germany. The youngest of eight siblings, Dalessio was a native of New Jersey. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Seton Hall University and received a commission from ARmy ROTC in 2004. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge.