Hard work pays off for LDAC Cadets

U.S. Army photo by Al Zdarsky

U.S. Army photo by Al Zdarsky

Approximately 885 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadets from the 1st and 2nd Regiments graduated from the 2013 Leader Development and Assessment Course July 11 during a short graduation and commissioning ceremony at Watkins Field on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. As part of the ceremony, 17 Cadets from the 1st Reg. and 24 Cadets from the 2nd Reg. were sworn in and pinned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

The ceremony capped off 29 days of leadership-infused training designed to develop each Cadet’s leadership abilities through a sequentially organized training schedule that incorporated the basic necessary skills to become an effective military leader.

During the ceremony, eight Cadets were honored for individual accomplishments that set them apart from their peers. From each regiment awards were handed out for distinguished honor graduate, honor graduate, the top male and female scores on the Army physical fitness test and the Cadet that best represented the Warrior Ethos, a term coined to reflect the embodiment of a Soldier.

Recognized as the top overall Cadets from each regiment were – Cadet Colin Root, Bravo Co., 1st Reg. from the University of Portland (1st Reg. Distinguished Honor Graduate), Cadet Tyson Hutton, Alpha Co., 2nd Reg. from the University of Colorado (2nd Reg. Distinguished Honor Graduate), Cadet James Jones, Alpha Co., 1st Reg. from Saint Mary’s University (1st Reg. Honor Graduate), and Cadet William Westervelt, Bravo Co., 2nd Reg. from Georgia Southern University (2nd Reg. Honor Graduate).

Recognized as the top male and female APFT scores from each regiment were – Cadet Andres Nanez, Bravo Co., 1st Reg. from Boston University (1st Reg. top male APFT score with 386), Cadet Phillip Martin, Bravo Co., 2nd Reg. from The Citadel (2nd Reg. top male APFT score with 368), Cadet Chelsey Williams, Bravo Co., 1st Reg. (1st Reg. top female APFT score with 400)  and Cadet Geanna Hiller, Alpha Co., 2nd Reg. (2nd Reg. top female APFT score with 356).

Finally, a Cadet from each regiment that best represented the Warrior Ethos was chosen by the LDAC Cadre. Cadet Colby Burling, Bravo Co., 1st Reg. from Sam Houston State University was chosen from 1st Reg. and Cadet Geanna Hiller, Alpha Co., 2nd Reg. from Illinois State University was chosen from 2nd Reg.

The leadership course is one of the final steps for Cadets prior to completing the ROTC program and entering the Army as commissioned officers. Cadets that were not commissioned during the ceremony are scheduled to return to their ROTC programs to finish out the commissioning requirements.

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