General’s words inspire Cadets

U.S. Army photo by Heather Cortright.

U.S. Army photo by Heather Cortright.

The Leader Development and Assessment Course tasks its Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadets with becoming great leaders. Sometimes, seeing models of great leadership can be just as integral to training as learning how to shoot an M-16 or learning how to communicate with other cultures.

Cadets found such a model on July 13 when Lt. Gen. David D. Halverson, deputy commanding general/chief of staff, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

According to TRADOC’s website, Halverson assumed his current duties in June 2012 after approximately 34 years of service, including carrying out war plans for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Before his accomplishments, however, Halverson was just like all the Cadets who clung to his influential words.

“This journey you’re on, you’re going to learn every day,” said Halverson to a squad of 10th Regiment Cadets at Field Leader and Reaction Course.

The general spent his day traveling to various training sites and observing the Cadets in action, as well as sitting in on their after action reviews with Cadre. When a pause arose during instruction, he stepped forward as if he had already spoken and had just remembered a final word he wanted to offer before forgetting it.

The three-star general reminded Cadets that the Army is “an outdoor sport” and not an occupation they can perform halfway.

“In this world, there are good people and bad people, and you have to understand that there are people out there who do not agree with your way of life,” he told 12th Regiment Cadets at Down Range Feedback. “If you want to be serious about this [military] profession, you have to be committed to that reason.”

Cadet Brody Evans, Bravo Co., 12th Regiment, is from San Diego and a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona. Evans said the opportunity for him and fellow Cadets to see such a high-ranking official  was a rare one.

“I thought [his speech] was very motivational and heartfelt,” said Evans. “I think what he said matched the gravitas of the situation.”

Cadet Montafix W. Houghton IV, Bravo Co., 12th Regiment, from Rockville, R.I., and a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, said he thought Halverson “spoke from the heart.”

“I think it puts in perspective what our training here is gearing us up for,” said Houghton.

Houghton added that Halverson’s words reminded Cadets they will be the leaders of “this generation’s sons and daughters.”

“By having the general here, it really puts that stamp of importance [on LDAC],” he said.

As for Halverson, he was very impressed with the work that has gone into executing LDAC and its mission to mold leaders. His greatest enjoyment, he said, came from seeing the Cadets’ youth and excitement, which he recalls from his commissioning as a second lieutenant in 1979.

“Hopefully…we’re setting the conditions for them to get conditioned to this profession,” said Halverson. “I’m very pleased to see where our Army is going.”

Story by Monica Spees.


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