Graduation Info

 Attending the LDAC Graduation and Commissioning Ceremony

Congratulations following graduation ceremony

New 2nd Lt. Ashley Bailey is congratulated following her commissioning at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., at the conclusion of the 2011 Leader Development and Assessment Course. U.S. Army photo by Al Zdarsky

Every graduation ceremony will be live-streamed on

our Ustream channel at starting 9 a.m. PST

Successful completion of the Leader Development and Assessment Course is perhaps the single most significant event in the multi-year Cadet leadership development process. As a result, family and friends of all graduates and commissionees are cordially invited to attend the graduation and commissioning ceremonies.

All graduations and commissioning ceremonies will be conducted on Watkins Field at Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s main post at 9:00 a.m. on the dates listed below. This is an hour-long outdoor ceremony, so please come prepared for the weather.

Graduation and commissioning ceremonies by regiment for Warrior Forge, are:

  • 1st and 2nd Regiments: July 11
  • 3rd and 4th Regiments: July 15
  • 5th and 6th Regiments: July 19
  • 7th and 8th Regiments: July 23
  • 9th and 10th Regiments: July 28
  • 11th and 12th Regiments: August 1
  • 13th and 14th Regiments: August 5

Cadet Visitation

Graduates. For graduates of Warrior Forge who are not end-of-course commissionees there will be no Cadet visitation prior to graduation. The Warrior Forge Commandant of Cadets is the approval authority for any exceptions to this policy. Cadets themselves must submit any such request through their regimental Cadre.

End of Warrior Forge Commissionees. Parents and immediate family members of Cadets who will be commissioned at the end of Warrior Forge will be allowed to have dinner with their Cadets the evening prior to graduation. Cadets can be picked up in their regimental area no earlier than 5:30 p.m. and must be back in the regimental area no later than 9:45 p.m. The Cadets will not be allowed to consume any alcohol.

Given the number of graduates, post-graduation visitation will be tightly controlled as well. Unless a pre-approved post-graduation travel request is in force or the Cadet has been authorized to travel by their personal automobile, Cadets will be transported to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by government-provided transportation following the graduation ceremony. Cadets who live locally may be transported by Cadre from their host university. Please refer to the details listed below for the post-graduation visitation policy.

Post-Graduation Visitation and Travel

Cadets may be released to immediate family members (father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, or others designated in loco parentis) at the conclusion of the graduation ceremony only if the Cadet has received prior authorization. Cadets normally initiate the request for a post-graduation travel change at the beginning of the training cycle and are normally notified of approval by Day 16. Cadets may request a post-graduation travel change at any time, including the day of graduation. Under no circumstances should a Cadet or Cadet’s family initiate a travel change without the approval of the Commandant of Cadets. Commissionees will be afforded the same transportation to SeaTac Airport as other Warrior Forge graduates if they desire.

Transportation and Lodging

Guests attending graduation activities must make their own transportation and lodging arrangements. Guests arriving by air into SeaTac Airport should plan for at least a one-hour drive to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. During the morning and evening commute, the interstate can be extremely congested and the drive may take much longer. There are several rental car agencies at SeaTac International Airport. Numerous moderately-priced hotels are located between Exits 129 and 116 along the Interstate 5 corridor, close to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Guests with a valid military identification card may also seek a reservation via the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Lodging office at (253) 964-0211.

Access to Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is 34 miles south of Sea-Tac International Airport just off I-5. Exit 120 services Lewis-McChord on both sides of the freeway. The graduation and post-commissioning ceremonies will take place on main post. Since Joint Base Lewis-McChord is a military installation, access is controlled as follows:

  • All adults 16 or older in a vehicle will be required to present photo identification to gate guards when entering the installation.
  • Guests with a valid military ID and vehicle installation sticker or rental car agreement do not need a vehicle pass.
  • Single-day Pass. Guests without a valid military ID must secure a vehicle pass from the Lewis-McChord Visitor Center (located at the entrance to Main Post at Exit 120) before passing through the Main Post gate. No advance coordination is required for a single-day vehicle pass; however, drivers must have in their possession a valid driver’s license, current vehicle registration or rental car agreement, and proof of insurance. Allow 30 minutes for this process. Display the vehicle pass on the driver’s side dashboard while on post.  Guests who wish to visit with their commissionee the night prior to graduation will receive a pass valid thru the next day’s graduation activities.
  • All vehicles entering Joint Base Lewis-McChord are subject to inspection at any time as a force protection measure.

Handicap Parking

Handicap parking will be available along Liggett Avenue, on the north side of Watkins Field. Vehicles must have a handicap placard or coordinate for a placard with the pre-approved access pass described above.

Regimental Assistance

A regimental representative will be present at the Lewis-McChord Visitor Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the evening prior to graduation and from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on the day of graduation.

60 responses to “Graduation Info

  1. Pingback: 2013 Summer Camps | Golden Knight Battalion's Blog·

  2. Pingback: LDAC Information for Family and Friends | Dorie Griggs·

  3. How do I find out if my son received prior authorization for post graduation travel? Also how should I communicate my desire to take him to dinner the night before graduation?

    • Mary,
      Post Graduation travel is something you will have to confirm with your Cadet. Your Cadet will receive his phone back on the 26th day. Also, Cadets who are commissioning during the graduation ceremony can go to dinner the night before graduation.

  4. Are we able to pick up a vehicle pass Sunday between 5-7pm at the Visitors Center for the next day’s graduation ceremony? Our cadet is NOT commissioning. Thanks

    • Nancy,
      You can either obtain a single-day pass from the Lewis Main Visitor Center, which requires no advance coordination, or you can obtain a pre-approved vehicle pass, which requires three-day advance coordination through the regiment. It may be easiest to come on the day of your Cadet’s commissioning and get a single-day pass for that day – all you’ll need is valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and current vehicle registration.

  5. Do you need to submit a letter for authorization to pick up our daughter for the evening before commissioning? Tom Kuklish

  6. I am surprising my daughter for graduation she is comissioning she will be able to go out after the graduation for a short while. I arrive at 1 am on the july 15. grad is on the 15th….i leave july 16 it would be nice to spend some time with her.

    • Cadets who are commissioning can subsequently be released from the LDAC area for dinner and family visitation, but must return to their regimental area no later than the time specified by their regimental tac officer.

      • Kozan, to find out this information, contact your Cadet’s ROTC battalion at the school he or she attends and ask the cadre.

  7. Are tickets or advance arrangements necessary to have dinner with our cadet on the night previous to commissioning/graduating?

    • Advance arrangements are necessary for a commissioning Cadet to be taken off post for family dinner and visitation. Contact your Cadet’s regimental cadre to arrange this.

  8. I would like to surprise my son for graduation. He is in the 5th REGT and graduates on the 19th. He is not being commissioned but does leave to go to Fort Bragg next for additional training before he comes home to finish his senior year of college. Will I be able to see him at all after his graduation? I live in Texas and need to make flight reservations. My Cadet is Matthew Travieso.

    • For Cadets who are not commissioning, we cannot ensure that they will have the opportunity to spend any time with family following the graduation ceremony – it depends entirely on the regimental cadre and the travel arrangements that the Cadet has for returning home (or to their next assignment).

  9. I have seen multiple days for receiving phones back. I have seen the night before graduation and also the 26th day. If its the night before, how will I contact my husband to go to dinner with him? Thanks.

    • Unfortunately, the date can vary. Cadets should receive their phones back anywhere from day 26-28 depending on the Cadre. You can try to contact the regimental Cadre to arrange something for dinner; however, you may just need to wait until he has his phone returned to him.

  10. Following graduation, around what time or range of times should a cadet plan on arriving at Sea-Tac airport? (Or,what’s the earliest time a cadet’s unit should schedule for a returning flight?).

    • This questions depends entirely on the time of the Cadet’s returning flight. The Cadet’s ROTC battalion at school arranges the travel, so try contact the cadre there for this information.

  11. Will the Cadets be leaving the day of their graduation, or will they be staying another night? I know there is no possible way for you to know their exact flight time, but do they usually leave that same day or do they stay another night?

  12. Do the Cadets leave JBLM the same day after graduation? I know all of their flight times are different, but do they leave that same day or stay another night?

    • Briana,

      All Cadets should be leave the same day as graduation. However, the flight times may differ because of the airlines.

  13. We received a call last night from someone in LDAC(a us govt phone number) Updating us on on son who is 3 reg . He said the graduation will be on Tues instead of Monday ,July 15 . Was this a legitimate call ??and legimt

  14. My daughter graduates on 1 Aug- not commissioning. How can I confirm the approval of the Cadre for post graduation visit- which was submitted upon her arrival but not to be confirmed until 16Jul2013 as I will coordinate travel from Fort Bragg,NC and need as much advance knowledge as possible for ticketing.. Her travel date is 2 August the day following graduation.

  15. Thanks for all the great info. Sorry (in advance) to bug you with questions.

    My daughter is remaining up there for her NSTP (nurse study training program) after LDAC. How can I find info about her release? Will she be available for my wife and I to visit her on graduation day and for that weekend? We don’t want to interfere with her training, but we would love to visit her if she is available.

    (And HUGE thanks for all the amazing pictures. You folks are the greatest!)

    • Dave,

      Cadets who are commissioning will have a chance to go to dinner with family members the evening prior to graduation.

      I would recommend you to contact the university’s Cadre, for we are unable to provide you with any information about the Nurse Study Training Program and about your daughter’s release.

  16. Hello. I heard that the day before graduation is Family Day when you can visit on base. I haven’t seen anything on the website however, just about dinner for those commissioning. Is there a family day? Thank you so much for all your help and effort keeping us all updated 🙂

    • Only Cadets who are commissioning are allowed to have dinner with their family the evening before graduation. And all family members are invited to assist graduation.

  17. The streaming of the graduation was nicely done once it got started. The sound dipped for a couple of the speakers though.

  18. Our son, Cadet Andrew Prouty, will be graduating July 28 with the 10th regiment. He will not be commissioning. Do many family members attend graduation if their cadet is not being commissioned? Is this something we should be planning?

    • Quite a few family members do attend the graduation ceremony, but there are more parents of commissioning Cadets in attendance. Note, however, that the graduation does not name individual Cadets unless they are commissioning and there may not be time to visit with your Cadet before proceeding to the prearranged travel home.

    • All regiments are set to have phones returned on Day 26 (July 16 for 5th Regiment). Please note that delays to the phone return are possible.

    • Quite a few family members do attend the graduation ceremony, but there are more parents of commissioning Cadets in attendance. Note, however, that the graduation does not name individual Cadets unless they are commissioning.

  19. We will be arriving on Monday morning for the LDAC graduation with a rental car. We do not have proof of insurance with us. Will drivers’ licenses and rental agreement be enough?

    • We suggest calling the visitors center for Joint Base Lewis-McChord to get confirmation that it will be enough.

  20. Hello. According to the information about graduation provided Cadets can be released to family “only if the Cadet has received prior authorization. Cadets normally initiate the request for a post-graduation travel change at the beginning of the training cycle and are normally notified of approval by Day 16”. What happens if the family didn’t find out until the week before graduation that they will be able to make the graduation? Can exceptions be made to visit with them after their graduation?

    • Unfortunately it depends entirely on the regimental cadre whether or not exceptions will be made to this policy. Contact your Cadet’s regimental cadre to discover next steps.

    • There is no set time that the Cadets receive their phones back. This is up to the Regimental cadre.

  21. We had hoped to take our son (5th regiment) to dinner on Thursday night. What steps do we need to take to do that. Thank you.

    • Only Cadets who are commissioning can leave for family visitation and dinner the night before graduation. If your Cadet is commissioning, contact his or her regimental cadre to discover next steps.

    • 5th Regiment Cadets were scheduled to have their mobile devices returned to them at the end of July 16th (Day 26). If you don’t hear from your Cadet, don’t worry. Their phones may be out of power or their cadre may not be able to return them just yet.

  22. How can I order a group photo? My son graduated with the 3rd Regiment, A Co., 2nd platoon, 2nd Squad.
    Thanks, Leslie

  23. If a cadet is being released to a family member and have submitted the correct paperwork to do so, what time will they be available to be picked up? Will it be directly after the graduation ceremony concludes (approximately 1000) or will there be a slight delay? Thank you for all of the information and in advance for your assistance!

    • The timing depends on the regimental cadre – it could just take a few minutes or it could take a bit longer.

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