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Leader Development Assessment Course- Warrior Forge

What is it?
The Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) known as Operation Warrior Forge-tests a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadet's intelligence, common sense, ingenuity, and stamina through a series of challenging exercises that test the cadet's ability to perform exacting tasks and make difficult decisions in demanding situations.

Operation Warrior Forge supplements on-campus instruction and training by providing practical experiences and opportunities for cadets to demonstrate and develop their leadership potential. Attendance and successful completion of the LDAC is a pre-commissioning requirement for all Army ROTC cadets. Cadets generally attend the course at the conclusion of their junior year in college.

What has the Army done?
Between June and August of each year, the LDAC takes place at Fort Lewis, Washington and is comprised of 15 cadet regiments and one Officer Candidate School regiment. Each cadet regiment is affiliated with an established and honored Army regiment. The cadet regiments adopt the honors, lineage, and heraldry of their respective active duty regiments. A regimental cycle is currently 33 days long and incorporates a wide range of subjects designed to develop and evaluate leadership and officer potential.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Warrior Forge places each cadet in a variety of leadership positions under simulated combat situations. In each position, cadets receive evaluations through a series of formal and informal assessments. Teams of evaluators assess cadet performance in both leader and follower positions; with each cadet receiving one-on-one counseling at the conclusion of an evaluation. In addition to assessing their leadership ability, cadets must meet established standards for physical fitness, land navigation, communication, confidence, and must also demonstrate proficiency in executing the troop leading procedures.

The training utilizes small unit tactics as the vehicle for training and evaluating the leadership potential of perspective officers. Training is organized into separate committees in a tiered structure. Each regiment follows the same progressive sequence of training, ensuring the standardized training and evaluation of all cadets. The training is conducted by committees composed of ROTC cadre, Reserve Component Soldiers, and U.S. Army Forces Command Soldiers. Training includes: the field leader's reaction course, confidence training, basic rifle marksmanship, weapons familiarization, dismounted land navigation, squad maneuver, fire support training, hand grenade training, first aid, nuclear biological and chemical training, squad situational training exercises, cultural awareness training, and patrolling situational training exercises. The training also includes squad and platoon level competitions that develop collective cohesion (esprit de corps) and emphasize the necessity for teamwork.

Why is this important to the Army?
Warrior Forge is often a cadet's first exposure to Army life on an Active Component Army installation and one of the few opportunities where cadets from various parts of the country undergo a common, high-quality training experience. The training is intentionally stressful and designed to build individual confidence through the accomplishment of tough and demanding training. This tough and realistic training lays the foundation for building leaders who the Army will be able to depend upon in the defense of the Nation and the security of national interests for decades to come.

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