By: Mattie Cook
FORT KNOX, Ky.,- Cadet Summer Training (CST) came to an end for the General Carl W. Stiner Regiment, 6th Regiment, Advanced Camp, with nine Reconnaissance Commando (RECONDO) awards; the most of any regiment to date.
The RECONDO award is given to Cadets who scored a 90% or higher in all pass-required events such as land navigation, marksmanship and the field training exercise.
Guest speaker, Maj. Gen. James (Boe) Young, Commanding General of 75th Training Command, Houston, TX., addressed Cadets not only as an officer with over 30 years of experience, but as a father to graduating Cadet Elizabeth Grace Young, James Madison University.
“I’m proud, that’s the main thing I really feel. I think General Hughes and his staff have put together a really good training event that has challenged the Cadets and given them a level of confidence they probably didn’t have before here,” he said. “Every time I come to an event like this and I’m exposed to young lieutenants or a group that’s about to be young lieutenants, I get really excited and confident about where our Army is headed in the future.”
Cadet Young said camp and her Cadre at James Madison have prepared her well to serve and she’s excited to get back to school and pass on knowledge to younger Cadets.
“Pushing myself physically and getting past where I thought my limits were was really satisfying but also pretty challenging. That 12-mile ruck kicked my butt, but it was really nice to prove to myself that I could in-fact do this and become an officer,” Cadet Young said.
Her father also added sentiments not expressed in his speech.
“You love your soldiers, there’s no question about it, but it is different as a parent,” Maj. Gen. Young said. “Grace has got a lot of common sense and is a great listener. If you’ve got those two things you’ll be in good shape.”
Parents, siblings and supporters of the Cadets filled the stands at Brooks Field, cheering and applauding the Cadets hard work and accomplishments over the last 31 days.
The parents of Cadet Austin Williams, University of Kentucky, couldn’t express enough of their pride.
“We’re very proud. When he was in middle school they had them write a letter before they graduated and it was exactly what he’s doing now,” his Mother Melody Williams said. “He also said he wrote us a letter when he was in the field and said he’s more confident than ever that he’s in the right place doing what he wants to do. He’s passionate about it.”
Cadet Williams received the Bold Leader Spirit Award; given for best demonstrating appropriate motivational techniques, inspirational leadership, and best demonstrating the spirit of a leader.
Tom Williams, Cadet Williams’ father added how excited they are for his accomplishments.
“It’s pretty amazing. We have no reference for how important that recognition may be. We know it’s a pretty large group of individuals and that he excelled in something, but when the Command Sergeant Major comes up and high fives him, that seems like it carries a little bit of weight around here; that kind of puts it in perspective for us,” Tom said.
The Cadets of 6th Regiment, Advanced Camp, will return to their respective universities to complete their final year of ROTC, then commission as Second Lieutenants upon fulfilling their degree.