Scores of tomorrow’s leaders helped save thousands of lives June 28 – Aug 17 by donating blood through the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) drives at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets from around the nation, all attending Cadet Summer Training (CST), rolled up their sleeves to give thousands of units of blood. Through their generosity, many more thousands of service members worldwide are directly impacted with these crucial donations.
“The blood drives with the Army ROTC Cadets are invaluable to our mission,” said Army Col. Audra Taylor, ASBP division chief, Defense Health Agency. “They’re a great success thanks to their willingness to donate as well as the partnership we have with the Army Cadet Command’s leadership. But the crucial success is that service members and their families can have a second chance at life and recover from illness and injury thanks to everyone’s generosity and teamwork.”
From the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s perspective, these drives are successful because of the planning that goes into them every year and the Cadets’ compassion, according to Army Col. Brent Clemmer, CST 21 Commandant.
“This allows leadership to put more emphasis on them and how valuable they are to service members and their families,” he said. “As a result, the Cadets better understand the importance of donating and respond in kind.”
Clemmer said the partnership between the ASBP, and Cadet Command is something that must continue to benefit both organizations.
“The ASBP drives are an important step in developing these young leaders,” he said. “Not only does it help get blood to those in need today, it shows the Cadets that donating blood and taking care of Soldiers and their families is leadership 101 and something we definitely want to sustain into future years.”
The ASBP is the official blood program for the Department of Defense. The program’s mission is to provide quality blood products in support of military system healthcare operations worldwide. This includes those deployed, those in remote locations and at military treatment facilities.
Cadets attending CST are encouraged to give blood at ASBP blood drives conducted each year. These drives are a crucial and a large annual source of blood donations for the ASBP.
Taylor is thankful to those who came out to donate at the CST drives because the need is great and constant.
“We cannot get patients the blood they desperately need without people volunteering to donate,” Taylor said. “We thank all those who donated at Fort Knox for setting the example and ask others to follow their example. If you have your health, celebrate it by giving blood to those who are not as fortunate.”
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Army ROTC is one of the best leadership courses in the country and is part of your college curriculum. Through classes and field training, Army ROTC provides you with the tools to become an Army Officer without interfering with your other classes. ROTC also provides you with discipline and money for tuition while enhancing your college experience.
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