Citadel Cadets take lesson from drill sergeant candidates
August 15, 2008
Upperclassmen cadets from The Citadel were pushed to their limits Saturday when they came to Fort Jackson to get a taste of teamwork and leadership.
The cadets, who will act as The Citadel's drill sergeants to the 2008 incoming freshmen class, completed the Confidence Course and the Team Development Course under the guidance of drill sergeant candidates from the Drill Sergeant School.
Many of the 133 cadets who participated in the training had never completed training similar to this. Capt. Ken Boes, The Citadel tactical officer, said courses were selected that would make the cadets work together.
"This gives these young cadets an excellent chance to learn how things are done in the Army and the Army manner, how to build and learn confidence and how to work together as a team to get things done," Boes said.
One of the most beneficial parts of the training, Sgt. Maj. Sylvan Bauer, The Citadel command sergeant major said, was that the cadets get to see how the drill sergeants interact with them, as trainees, so when they are back at The Citadel they will know how to train the freshmen.
Cadet Zachery MacInnis agrees this interaction is important.
"Being able to watch guys who have been doing this for eight or nine years and who know what leadership is and know how to train people and being able to get that experience from them and pass it on to the other cadets is going to help us a lot," MacInnis said.
The training was not only beneficial to the cadets from The Citadel but to the drill sergeant candidates as well.
"It is good for the entire group," said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Howard, Drill Sergeant School senior drill sergeant leader. "Because we have drill sergeant candidates out here who are getting ready to be drill sergeants. So this is one of the best ways to train them because they get to work with someone who has never done anything like this before."
Throughout the day at the different obstacles, on both courses, cadets were treated with different personalities. At one obstacle, drill sergeants would be motivating, while at another, they would be ridiculing.
"We used different personality types because some of these cadets don't know how to be a leader, they just know how to use harshness and they don't understand professionalism," Howard said. "This way taught them that yelling at trainees isn't always the best way to get the task accomplished."
Cadets accomplished the tasks put before them throughout the day and worked as a team to do it. Because most of the cadets act as first sergeants or platoon leaders at the school, it was a challenge for them to work as a team because it was not something they were used to doing.
"I want them to bring away confidence in their skills. I want them to learn and see how the Army drill sergeants do it," Boes said. "I also want them to realize that by working and learning and growing (together) they can be more effective in what they do every day."