Warriors prep cadets for future leadership
June 17, 2009
Cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. came to the 2nd Infantry Division to train with lieutenants and experience what the "real Army" has in store for them once they are commissioned.
The training started May 25 and ended June 17. In that time the cadets saw a world they never knew existed.
"It has been a great opportunity to see what the Army is like," said Cadet Richard Naseer. "When we are at West Point, it (West Point) is all we think about."
The cadets' status allowed them to mix easily with the Warriors they trained alongside.
"There are no Soldiers at West Point," said Cadet Michael Weigand. "Because we aren't commissioned yet, Soldiers have been more down to earth with us and told us more than they would their officers."
The cadets were assigned to lieutenants and given various tasks to learn their future day-to-day duties.
"We learned about doing hand receipts and we (performed maintenance) in the motor pool," said Weigand.
Some cadets participated in A Company, Division Special Troops Battalion's field training exercise June 2-5. They received valuable hands on leadership training.
"We pulled sight security at the field training sites," said Cadet Nicholas Martinez. "When the lieutenants weren't around, we became acting platoon leaders. The Soldiers were very receptive."
The assignment of taking a cadet under their wings certainly wasn't an easy thing for the lieutenants to do.
"The cadets are ahead of my expectations," said 2nd Lt. Demitrius Haeffner, a platoon leader with division maintenance support. "I've assigned my cadet reading assignments and had him issue an (operation order). They need to be flexible and learn from their mistakes."
Flexibility is a particularly important quality, according to the cadets. "We know that the Soldiers should come first," said Weigand. "It is also important to let the senior noncommissioned officers do their jobs and to learn from their guidance."
The cadets haven't skipped out on physical training since their arrival in "Warrior Country." Some cadets participated in company runs while others ran the "Green Mile" on Camp Red Cloud.
The future officers took a lot away from their training with 2nd ID. The knowledge and motivation gained in Warrior County will remain with them when they return to West Point.
"We now see what the real Army has in store," said Martinez. "We see the light at the end of the tunnel and will work every day to get to that light."