Fort Cavazos, Texas – Cadets in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps have arrived nationwide to engage in Cadet Troop Leader Training with the 1st Cavalry Division.
Austin White, a California native, is a Cadet from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. He has spent weeks observing the daily life of a First Team Trooper in the 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, and being mentored by his sponsor, 1st Lt. Tanner Jones.
"The biggest thing I've learned is how to communicate with Soldiers," said Austin. "I've learned so much about Aviation, but at the core, they've taught me how to be a good communicator and communicate with your Soldiers."
CTLT is an opportunity for cadets to experience real day-to-day life in the Army and gain experience as a platoon leader. Throughout his time with Bravo Company, he has completed numerous tasks, planned events, and had whole experience in a flight unit.
"I hope he takes with him the main facets of being a Platoon Leader: How to prioritize tasks, how to truly care for your Troopers, and how to communicate," said Jones. "These are but a few steps of many; however, if Cadet White keeps the basics close to heart, he will do amazing things."
Austins' time with the "Black Cats" gave him new experiences as he looked to start his career as a U.S. Army Officer and gave his sponsor some insight into his leadership style.
"With his ROTC training, he brought an outside perspective to my platoon and solved issues as they came up," said Jones. "He also reminds me of myself when I had just started as a Platoon Leader and how important it is as a leader to ensure you're putting full effort into setting up future leaders and Troopers for success."
Jones recommends cadets who complete their third year of ROTC try to gain a slot for CTLT; they, too, can gain experience as Platoon Leaders to strengthen their leadership before they commission.