Approximately 897 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadets from the 11th and 12th Regiments graduated from the 2013 Leader Development and Assessment Course August 1 during a short graduation and commissioning ceremony at Watkins Field on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. As part of the ceremony, 9 Cadets from the 11thReg. and 7 Cadets from the 12th 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 Army physical fitness test scores 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 Matthew Mischo, Bravo Co., 11th Reg. from the University of Colorado (11th Reg. Distinguished Honor Graduate), Cadet Keith Hill, Bravo Co., 12th Reg. from Northeastern University (12th Reg. Distinguished Honor Graduate), Cadet Colton Barber, Alpha Co., 11th Reg. from Sam Houston State University (11th Reg. Honor Graduate), and Cadet James Whittaker, Alpha Co., 12th Reg. from University of California- Davis (12th Reg. Honor Graduate).
Recognized as the top male and female APFT scores from each regiment were – Cadet Colton Barber, Alpha Co., 11th Reg. from Sam Houston State University (11th Reg. top male APFT score with 376), Cadet Matthew Brown, Alpha Co., 12th Reg. from Pennsylvania State University (12th Reg. top male APFT score with 381), Cadet Jasmine McCormick, Bravo Co., 11th Reg. from McDaniel College (11th Reg. top female APFT score with 344), and Cadet Kristen St. Pierre, Alpha Co., 12th Reg. from University of Rhode Island (12th Reg. top female APFT score with 369).
Finally, a Cadet from each regiment was chosen that best represented the Warrior Ethos. Cadet John Reitz, Alpha Co., 11th Reg. from Shippensburg University was chosen from 11th Reg. and Cadet Trinity Castner, Bravo Co., 12th Reg. from University of Oregon was chosen from 12th 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.
Story by Sara Narhwold.