By Jeremy O'BryanJune 4, 2010
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - The number of Army lieutenants commissioning through the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps is on the rise. The capstone training and assessment course that ensures cadets are ready to lead Soldiers, held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord each summer, is growing, too.
"This year we expect ROTC battalions from U.S. Army Cadet Command to send us more than 6,500 cadets," said Joel Manning, chief of plans for the Leader Development and Assessment Course, also known as Operation Warrior Forge.
The thousands of cadets, plus the 3,000 or so cadre and staff who assemble to facilitate the training, make a significant impact on the population of the base. The cadre and staff are Soldiers and civilians from active-duty, Reserve and National Guard units.
"The first 1,000 cadets arrive June 14 and the last group departs the first week of August," said Jeff Tolle, Warrior Forge safety officer. "During that time frame there will be increased traffic due to our operation, especially at the gates and at the entrances and exits of training areas. Additional signs will be posted at points where our presence will add to normal traffic flow."
Seven ceremonies also take place on base as the cadets complete their 29-day assessment. Nearly 1,000 cadets, plus hundreds more staff and family members, will gather at Watkins Field to celebrate and graduate.
People might be held up by increased traffic in the area around the parade grounds 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on July 12, 16, 20, 24, 29, Aug. 2 and Aug. 6.
About 70 percent of the Army's lieutenants receive their commission through ROTC. Cadet Command operates ROTC battalions at 273 colleges and universities across the nation. Students from more than 1,000 other schools also participate through partnership programs.
Jeremy O'Bryan is assigned to U.S. Army Cadet Command. This article appeared in Joint Base Lewis-McChord's weekly newspaper, the Northwest Guardian.