The 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp Cadets are moving from the “crawl phase”, wolverine, to the panther stage, where they are now in charge of running operations and tactics out in the field.
“We train exactly how we fight,” said Platoon Training Officer, 2nd Lt. Cane Primus, a recent graduate from South Carolina State University. “One day you’re going to have real soldiers and so you can’t come out here to camp and take it lightly—so trust is very, very important in the field…”
What Cadets are learning quickly is that relying on others during this stage is not only important, but vital especially when taking on a leadership role.
“Trust is very important especially as a leader,” said Cadet Henry Mulli, a student at Loyola University Maryland. “You have to trust your subordinates especially when disseminating information so everybody knows what’s going on.”
Squad Leader, Cadet Joshua Hardy, a student at Augusta University came to the same conclusion as Mulli.
“You can’t be everywhere at once, so you have to trust your peers,” said Hardy.
Whether the Cadets are supposed to defend themselves from an attack or move in towards an enemy, being on the same page is important. Without confidence in their leaders it would be hard for the Cadets to perform with cohesion.
Hardy believes that when someone from his platoon steps into a leadership role it is easy to follow that Cadet as a leader because they all respect each other.
“Everybody is from different backgrounds, you find ways to work well with each other and you get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Mulli.
One message the cadre members instill in the Cadets is to learn when to take instruction and when to step up and give instruction. Another message is to learn from their fellow Cadets. Teamwork helps them all succeed when being evaluated.
“We are not here to grade them on what they know, we are here to assess their leadership abilities,” said Primus. “Did they make a decision and why did they make that decision. As long as that decision was an understandable decision and they can validate why they made that decision then it’s a go.”
Being decisive and trusting in the training helps Cadets when assuming that leadership role.
“I set the example. I let them know that leaders lead from the front,” said Primus.