FORT KNOX, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2010) - Brig. Gen. Robin B. Akin, the commanding general of the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), served as guest speaker for the University of Louisville Reserve Officers Training Corps dining-in Friday, Nov. 19 at the United Auto Workers Hall 862 in Louisville, Ky.

During the dining-in, Akin also presented branch insignias to 7 graduating cadets, judged table decorations and participated in a cake cutting ceremony.

Akin, whose son is a cadet in Texas A&M's ROTC program, said she was pleased to meet and speak to the Army's future second lieutenants. She thanked the graduating cadets for wanting to serve their country during wartime and welcomed them into their new profession.

"Tonight marks an important step in the lives of these 7 cadets. Although you are not yet commissioned, you are about to begin a phenomenal & exciting journey," Akin said to the cadets. "That career begins with your oath and imparts on you a huge responsibility, a responsibility for the sacred trust we give you - to lead America's treasure, her daughters and sons. Their lives are in your hands."

During her speech, Akin talked about leadership and advised the young cadets to "stay sharp, be flexible and demand as much from yourself as you do from your Soldiers" throughout their Army careers.

"Leadership has sustained America for over 234 years," said Akin. "Your commitment to leadership, and the commitment of those following in your footsteps here tonight will sustain us for another 234 years."

For the Cardinal Battalion cadets in attendance, Akin's advice seemed well received. Many of the cadets expressed amazement that Akin took time from her busy schedule to spend time with them and impart her knowledge and experience.

"It was truly an honor and privilege to have Brig. Gen. Akin impart words of wisdom upon the Cardinal Battalion," said Cadet Battalion Commander Jamie Jackson, a native of Citra, Fla.

Jackson, who served 12 years as an enlisted Soldier and achieved the rank of sergeant first class, was once the logistics NCOIC at Ireland Army Community Hospital on Fort Knox, also home to Akin's command.

Jackson said he was pleased to have met Akin, and to hear some of her words of wisdom.

"To see the glass ceiling being shattered before our eyes, one of 22 female general officers, was more than any cadet could ask for."

Since its conception, U of L Army ROTC has specialized in training leaders, for both the Army and the community at large.

Although located in Dougherty Hall on Louisville's Belknap Campus, the Cardinal Battalion extends beyond the University of Louisville with partnerships including Bellarmine University, Sullivan University, Spalding University, Jefferson Community and Technical College, and Indiana University Southeast. With these satellite schools taken into consideration, the program has over one hundred active members all pursuing commissions in the United States Army.