• The U.S., Army and ROTC flags fly as Cadet Harrison Still, from West Virginia University, recites the Cadet Creed during the graduation ceremony for Delta Co. of the Leader's Training Course at Fort Knox, Ky.

    LTC graduation

    The U.S., Army and ROTC flags fly as Cadet Harrison Still, from West Virginia University, recites the Cadet Creed during the graduation ceremony for Delta Co. of the Leader's Training Course at Fort Knox, Ky.

  • The first group of college students arrive at Fort Knox in June for ROTC's Operation Bold Leader at Fort Knox, Ky. Typically, the Cadets are between their sophomore and junior years in college. Upon completion of the course, they are qualified to join ROTC when they return to campus. Drill sergeants conduct their initial training to show them "What right looks like."

    LTC Arrival

    The first group of college students arrive at Fort Knox in June for ROTC's Operation Bold Leader at Fort Knox, Ky. Typically, the Cadets are between their sophomore and junior years in college. Upon completion of the course, they are qualified to join...

  • An LTC Cadet navigates the high ropes course. THe training event, Where Eagles Dare, occurs early in the four-week course in order to force Cadets to face and overcome their fears and build confidence.

    Where Eagles Dare

    An LTC Cadet navigates the high ropes course. THe training event, Where Eagles Dare, occurs early in the four-week course in order to force Cadets to face and overcome their fears and build confidence.

  • An LTC Cadet navigates The Weaver obstacle on the confidence course at LTC. THe confidence course is a replica of the Air Assault confidence course used at Fort Campbell, Ky., and tests the Cadets physically.

    The Weaver

    An LTC Cadet navigates The Weaver obstacle on the confidence course at LTC. THe confidence course is a replica of the Air Assault confidence course used at Fort Campbell, Ky., and tests the Cadets physically.

  • An LTC Cadet conducts squad tactical training this summer at Fort Knox, Ky. STX training occurs during the latter stage of the course, and focuses on leadership in a team environment.

    Squad STX

    An LTC Cadet conducts squad tactical training this summer at Fort Knox, Ky. STX training occurs during the latter stage of the course, and focuses on leadership in a team environment.

More than 7,400 college students took a step closer to becoming Army officers this summer as U.S. Army Cadet Command conducted its two largest annual training events, the Leader’s Training Course and the Leader Development and Assessment Course.

LDAC's final two regiments graduated Thursday. LTC's last company graduated July 28.

More than 6,600 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadets completed LDAC, also known as Operation Warrior Forge, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

The majority of Cadets going through Warrior Forge were between their junior and senior years of college. Their knowledge and leadership abilities were assessed by the more than 3,000 cadre members who run the course. The graduates will return to campus for their final year of education before graduating and earning a commission in the Army.

Some of the Cadets who completed LDAC had already graduated from college. About 270 LDAC graduates took their oath to become officers this summer.

“Nothing happens by accident,” Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, commander of Cadet Command, told Cadets of 11th and 12th Regiments during their graduation ceremony. “Hard work got all of you out here today. “You stand as future leaders of the Army.”

Cadet James Bogensberger from Gonzaga University echoed the sense of progress and accomplishment in McDonald’s words.

“This is just the next milestone in our military career,” Bogensberger said. “It was great getting to know new people and learning so much more about the military. You really do not feel set … until you complete LDAC.”

While the Cadets were going through Warrior Forge at Lewis-McChord, about 800 college students completed LTC, also known as Operation Bold Leader, at Fort Knox, Ky.

Bold Leader is a 29-day course for college students, generally between their sophomore and junior years of college, who are interested in joining ROTC but have not completed the first two of the four-year ROTC curriculum. Upon completing the course, they qualify to compete for an ROTC scholarship and can contract with ROTC to complete their final two years and earn their commissions.

Brig. Gen. Marcia Anderson, deputy commander for the Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, was a guest speaker at the final LTC company’s graduation. She said the Cadets’ drive and ability to work together were pivotal in them making it to the end.

“Your courage has been tested mentally, physically and emotionally,” she said. “But your success here is a testament to your desire to work individually and collectively as a team.”

Pointing out that Delta Cadets represented 89 different schools, Anderson said the group’s diversity reflects that of the Army.

“But as different as you may be, you have one thing in common: the opportunity, if you choose it, to lead,” Anderson said.

Jeremy O’Bryan and Noelle Wiehe contributed to this report.

Page last updated Wed August 3rd, 2011 at 00:00