West Point Cadets learn Army duties, responsibilities
June 17, 2009
CAMP HUMPHREYS, Korea - For approximately three and a half weeks, six cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point will be the newest, and quite possibly the youngest, platoon leaders in 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
These juniors and seniors are participants in the Cadet Troop Leadership Training program. This program provides U.S. Military Academy and Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets with active-duty leadership opportunities and experience by placing them in platoon leader positions.
"CTLT offers cadets the chance to shadow platoon leaders and learn from them by watching them handle different situations," said 2nd Lt. Kirstin Strobel, project officer for the 2nd CAB CTLT program and former CTLT participant.
Strobel, a graduate of Penn State University, participated in the ROTC CTLT in the summer of 2003 in Brunssum, Netherlands. She was assigned as an executive officer for a headquarters company that supported NATO.
"I got to plan their organizational day even though it happened after I left, but they sent me pictures," said Strobel who served as the 2nd CAB medical plans officer. "It was interesting and a lot of fun."
That's the same sentiment the West Point cadets expressed about their experiences with 2nd CAB.
"This is a great opportunity to see what a platoon leader actually does on a daily basis, and how he interacts with Soldiers. It's very interesting and very different," said Justin Langreck, a senior at West Point majoring in biology. Langreck said he hopes to enter the medical services branch and eventually go into pharmacy.
Langreck is assigned to 2nd Lt. William D. Gowin, a platoon leader with Company C, 602nd Aviation Support Battalion. Godwin is a signal officer and his interaction with Langreck gave the 21-year-old cadet from San Antonio a second option for branch selection.
"As the most deployed company in the brigade, I'm showing him what it takes for us operate," Gowin said. "I'm showing him proper accountability procedures for the more than $5 million worth of signal equipment in 2nd CAB."
2nd CAB is scheduled to host cadets from the U.S. Military Academy and Reserve Officers' Training Corps in four iterative groups until Aug. 18. Cadets will receive an officer evaluation for the time spent in the unit.
"This is a good program. We didn't have this opportunity in Officer Candidate School," Godwin said. "I hope (the cadets) enjoy it and get as much out of it as (they) can."
"The general told us to listen twice as much as we talk," Langreck said of the advice Brig. Gen. Walter M. Golden recently imparted to them at a private luncheon held in the 2nd CAB Dining Facility. Golden is the assistant division commander - maneuver for 2nd ID.
Langreck said CTLT was a valuable way to embark upon the military career he seems destined to fulfill.
"My dad was career Air Force and my brother is in the Navy ROTC at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., but I wanted to be in the Army," Langreck said. "He is happy and my mom preferred I joined the Army."