FORT STEWART, Ga. – Five Cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, temporarily assigned to 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, completed their three-week Cadet Troop Leader Training on Saturday, July 3, at Fort Stewart. CTLT gives cadets from West Point and ROTC the opportunity to experience leadership and a day-in-the-life of Army second and first lieutenants in active-duty units every summer.
Cadets attending locations in the continental U.S. are given three weeks with their selected unit and those attending locations overseas are given four weeks. Cadets are assigned a unit mentor, provided lodging at or near the military post, and provided meals at an on-base dining facility.
Cadet Danielle Cross, a fourth-year cadet at West Point and a Life Science major, was temporarily assigned to the 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. “It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been really cool to see what a sapper engineer company does and to be out in the field and do a couple of their different training exercises with them,” Cross said.
CTLT enables cadets going into their third or fourth year at university to see a day-in-the-life of an Army lieutenant and gives them insight into what their future holds. Because cadets attend CTLT before they rank the Army’s 17 basic branches for their branch selection, the experience gives them a chance to test run their number one choice or an alternate branch they may be contemplating.
“I’ve been shadowing with the engineers, and I really think that it [the Engineer branch] is something that speaks to me a lot,” said Cadet Annesley Black, a third-year cadet at West Point and an Environmental Engineering major, temporarily assigned to 9th BEB, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. “I really like working with the equipment and the people, and I think that Engineers is what I’m leaning towards.”
The next time the cadets work with active-duty Soldiers and noncommissioned officers they will be commissioned as U.S. Army second lieutenants. The value of the cadets’ time spent with those they are about to lead is not lost on them.
“For me, it means showing me the real Army outside of West Point. My only real experience has been through West Point and the summer trainings they provide,” said Cadet Paul Budoff, a third-year cadet at West Point and a Systems and Decision Sciences major, also temporarily assigned to 9th BEB, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. “Being able to spend [time], given these short three weeks, speaking with people in the...[active-duty] Army, speaking with NCOs and officers from all the different branches has been a whole new experience for me. I’ve learned a lot.”