Bravo Cadets undergo shake down upon arrival at Fort Knox. Photo by Rebecca Thompson.

Bravo Cadets undergo shake down upon their arrival at Fort Knox. Photo by Rebecca Thompson.

By Sydney Callis
Leader’s Training Course

As airplanes from all over the country landed Tuesday at Louisville International Airport, Cadets in Bravo Company began their journey at the Leader’s Training Course.

Loaded onto buses after check-in, Cadets, most of them strangers to each other, became acquainted on the drive to Fort Knox. Discussing their own backgrounds and expectations for the course, they only paused their chatter for a quick briefing from two of the company’s lieutenants riding along.

 “I’m hoping that I can expand on the leadership ability that I have now and hopefully implement that when I get to my own program and build up the other Cadets,” said Cadet Charles Mills of Winthrop University in South Carolina. “It’s going to be educational.”

The 29-day course provides many opportunities for Cadets. From physical and mental challenges, they will be faced with activities that test everything from their leadership skills to their fitness.

“I’m excited about everything, every activity, but I’m nervous about not knowing what we’re going to have to do and not being able to complete something,” said Cadet Liliana Betancourt of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

The opportunity to experience new activities drew some Cadets to the course.

“I’m excited about shooting because I haven’t done too much of that,” Mills said. “I’m just going to go with it and see what happens.”

There were nerves all around, regarding all aspects of the course. With temperatures expected to reach triple digits this summer, Mills expressed concern about beating the heat.

“I’m nervous about the rigorousness of the course,” Mills said. “I know it’s going to be hard, but I’m afraid of the heat.”

Although some Cadets arrive knowing they want to continue on in ROTC and eventually commission into the Army, the training course offers undecided students by giving them a glimpse at the Army lifestyle.

Cadet Stephen Billiter of Truman State University in Missouri heard about the training course after talking with the ROTC instructor at his school. He then became friends with some Cadets already in the program at Truman State and talked with them about LTC.

“That was the goal of coming, to figure out if a career in the Army is something that I’m interested in doing,” Billiter said.

The atmosphere on the bus radiated excitement as it approached the Disney Barracks, the Cadets’ home for the next month.

“I came with an open mind,” Billiter said. “I don’t really know what to expect about it, but I’m here to figure it out.”

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