2nd SBCT introduces ROTC cadets to Army life

| August 30, 2013 | 0 Comments
Cadet Brandon Paquette observes his target while gathering intel during a leaders’ recon as part of a nine-day field problem with the Raider Recon Platoon. Paquette is about to enter his senior year at Georgetown University and plans to enter the infantry branch after graduation. (Photo by 1st Lt. Tim Clark, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Cadet Brandon Paquette observes his target while gathering intel during a leaders’ recon as part of a nine-day field problem with the Raider Recon Platoon. Paquette is about to enter his senior year at Georgetown University and plans to enter the infantry branch after graduation. (Photo by 1st Lt. Tim Clark, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Sgt. Daniel Johnson
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team
Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Reserve Officer Training Command cadets from across the country joined the Warrior Brigade this summer as part of the Cadet Troop Leading Training program.

Cadets are assigned a unit mentor and are provided on-post lodging and meals via a dining facility. The program, approximately four weeks long, is exclusively designed for Military Science III cadets before and after completion of the Leader Development and Assessment Course.

“Seeing the ins and outs of an infantry officer during both garrison and field environments has been eye-opening,” said Cadet John Bolen, Virginia Military Institute. “It’s not a set workload, definitely not a 9-to-5 job.”

Cadets are introduced to life in the Army and how to be a platoon leader, a position they’re most likely to fulfill upon commissioning.

“The relationship between the officer and platoon sergeant, as well as the team leaders, is something I will take back with me,” said Cadet Justin McCarty, VMI. “I also got to shoot the MK 19 (grenade launcher.) That was pretty cool; it was a lot of fun.”

“My first movement through a gulch was very exciting; I’ve never experienced a gulch before,” said Cadet Brandon Paquette, Georgetown University. “Tactically, it was something new. I have a lot to learn from them.”

The lessons are not just standard operating procedures. Leadership skills and how to interact with Soldiers is also an important factor of the training.

“Being from ROTC, you’re kind of taught … as platoon leader. You always take charge, and you always know all of the answers,” said Paquette, “but sometimes you really don’t. Sometimes your squad leaders or team leaders may have better opinions than you.”

“I’ve heard people say that as an officer you don’t really interact with the enlisted Soldiers, and I never really believed that,” said Bolen. “It was reassuring to see that my lieutenant took an interest in the Soldiers’ on- and off-duty lives.”

Before the cadets return to their respective schools, their Warrior Brigade supervisors will provide them with an officer evaluation report to help critique their leadership skills.

“It will be interesting to see how someone in the active Army reviews my performance and how I do in this program. I know I’m going to do well,” said McCarty.

“I’m looking forward to the assessment at the end of the training,” said Bolen. “I think it is going to be a lot of constructive criticism. Whatever comments I get, I’m going to use them to better myself.”

After returning to school, the cadets will take up leadership positions within the ROTC chain of command to practice the skills they’ve learned and teach them to their fellow cadets.

“When I return to school, I’ll either be a battalion commander or executive officer until I graduate,” said Paquette.

“I still need to learn a lot more, but I’m definitely becoming a better leader at this point,” said Bolen.

(Editor’s Note: ROTC cadets Bolen, McCarty and Paquette, interviewed for this article, trained with 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.)

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Category: Education, Leadership, News

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