Last Updated: October 16th, 2020By

Fort Knox, Ky., – Basic Camp 3rd Regiment Cadets graduated from Cadet Summer Training on July 6, 2017, and Cadets were finally reunited with their families after a long 31 days of training.

Cadet Lena Marinkovich, student at the University of Hawaii, native of Milwaukee, graduated from Basic Camp and was reunited with her family, including her father and older brother, who both currently serve with the Army.

“It feels really great, I’ve missed everyone, especially being away with only other military people for a month, it’s really nice having the family together,” said Marinkovich.

Cadet Lena Marinkovich, student at the University of Hawaii, reunites with her family after graduating with Basic Camp 3rd Regiment on July 6, 2017, Fort Knox, Ky. The Cadets celebrated successfully completing 31 days of training, another milestone toward becoming future Army officers. (photo by Emily LaForme)

Marinkovich said she was inspired to join ROTC after watching her brother, 2nd Lt. Dushan Marinkovich, complete and commission from the program.

“It feels really amazing to be part of something bigger than myself and to carry on the family name in the military. I just hope that one day I can be as good of an officer as my dad and brother,” said Marinkovich.

Marinkovich’s father, Lt. Col. Dragomir Marinkovich, expressed great pride over his children following in his military footsteps.

“As a father I can’t tell you how proud I am to have two of my children in the military. Dushan just commissioned not too long ago, and now having Lena follow up, it just makes me proud to be a father and proud to be in the military. I’m just happy that two young adults with their talents and drive are going to defend our country, I absolutely cannot tell you how proud I am,” said Lt. Col. Marinkovich.

Lt. Col. Marinkovich said he encouraged his children but did not force them into joining the service.

“I never wanted to put pressure on them to join the military, so I led by example, and luckily for myself and our country, they followed along and, on their own, joined the military. I never imagined that both of them would join the military,” said Lt. Col. Marinkovich.

Lt. Col. Marinkovich shared some of words of wisdom with his daughter after the graduation ceremony.

“You will have many successes in your life, and you will also have a number of failures. It is how you react to failures that really determines your character. It’s all about resilience, so you are going to celebrate the successes, but realize there will be failures, but it’s how you react. You have to pick yourself up and drive on and you will succeed,” said Lt. Col. Marinkovich.

Cadet Summer Training will bring 8,200 Cadets through Basic and Advanced Camp this summer on Fort Knox. These camps are designed to help challenge, grow and improve various skills and leadership qualities within the Cadets. If you think you have what it takes to be a Cadet or if you are interested in a job after college click the following link: