Cadets conduct Currahee summer training
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky- U.S. Army Cadet Charles Smigen, from the United States Military Academy at West Point, conducts air assault rehearsal for the 2012 Week of the Eagles with Currahees from 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Aug. 2, 2012, during the Cadet Troop Leadership Training program at Fort Campbell, Ky. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Todd A. Christopherson, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky-Thirty-five U.S. Army Cadets trained with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, as part of their required summer military leadership curriculum, the Cadet Troop Leadership Training program, July 23 to Aug. 9, 2012, at Fort Campbell, Ky.

The assignment requires the Cadets to shadow a platoon leader or temporarily fill a vacant platoon leader spot for a three week period.

"Basically we shadow the platoon leaders and do what ever the unit is doing while we are there," said Cadet Fransesco A. Candelmo, a Cadet from the United States Military Academy at West Point who trained with Currahees from Troop A, 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Bde., 101st Abn. Div.

The goal of the program is to give Cadets an opportunity to gain professional development and to experience some of the daily life of their potential branch.

"The Cadet Troop Leadership Training program is essential to the professional development of our Nation's future leaders," said Col. Val C. Keaveny, Jr., the commander of 4th Bde. 101st Abn. Div. "The three weeks that these cadets spend with the Currahees enables them to learn the unique capabilities of the 101st Airborne Division, the daily cuties and responsibilities of second lieutenants, life on a military installation, and the continuous training required to remain capable of dominant unified land operations."

Yes, the Cadets really do participate in everything their units had scheduled on the training calendar.

"I went to the M4 [rifle] range, took a [physical training] test and did a field training exercise," said Candelmo. "I did everything they did."

Candelmo filled a vacant platoon leader spot for two of his three required weeks where he worked closely with Staff Sgt. Daniel W. Good, the platoon sergeant for Trp. A, 1st Sqdn., 61st Cav. Regt.

"He definitely got some good first-hand experience with what being a platoon leader in garrison requires," said Good. "He did PT, went to the range, conducted dismounted training and attended training meetings at the squadron level. It was a well-rounded view, not just about shooting all the time."

Though some of the experiences offered during the CTLT were more clinical, the cadets were able to also glean additional helpful information from the noncommissioned officers and Soldiers they worked with.

"When we weren't training, we talked about previous deployment experiences and shared our stories with him," said Good.

For many Cadets this experience went beyond just learning about their branch but also provided them an opportunity to be an active part of history.

"I had to take a leadership position over about 17 guys," said Candelmo. "I got pretty close to them and for me it was definitely a learning experience. These guys were super high speed. My platoon sergeant had to do his job but was also right there teaching me how to do mine."

"The 101st [Airborne Division] is definitely the place to be," continued Candelmo. "The Currahees have tons of history and that was such an honor to be a part of, but also here, everyone takes care of everyone, like a huge Family. You definitely feel it."

Page last updated Tue August 21st, 2012 at 00:00