By Alex Mclaughlin
Photo By: Erica Lafser
FORT KNOX, Kentucky–
Alexus Hardin, ROTC cadet at Prairie View A&M in Texas, is at Cadet Summer Training with a goal of
becoming an officer in the Army. However, this was not her first goal when she started her college career.
Hardin is a Criminal Justice major with a strong sense of right and wrong who originally wanted to join a police academy after graduation, but other positive influences in her life would see her join Army ROTC.
“I have six uncles who are all military,” Hardin said. “When I thought about joining Army ROTC, they all gave me great advice. They told me the Army would test my mental toughness and to approach the training in positive way. If I did that, then the Army would benefit me in so many ways in the future.”
Besides family influence, many of her friends at her university would recommend Army ROTC as a path that would allow her to continue her interest in criminal justice. It would also give her the skills she would need to not only succeed, but excel in her area of interest.
“Eventually I became interested in becoming a military police officer or working with U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command,” Hardin said. “I just saw so many potential benefits by joining Army ROTC. I could meet and work with all sorts of different people, learn different languages and test myself in ways that I previously never had the opportunity to.”
Hardin said her time at Leader Training Course this summer has reinforced her ambition to achieve her goals. LTC has provided the character building tests she was looking for when she joined Army ROTC.
“Things like the obstacle course really test you,” Hardin said. “I was happy with how confident I was after completing that. You get to conquer so many fears. I am not afraid of heights, but the high ropes course was pretty scary sometimes. I still got through everything and was pretty proud of myself for that.”
Hardin sets many high standards for herself. She came to LTC this summer knowing that this training is just the first step in becoming an Army officer. Completing LDAC and commissioning as an officer in the Army are very important goals for her. She said the skills she will gain along the way to completing these goals will be invaluable in her career.
“I look forward to learning how to be a true leader,” Hardin said. “I’ve taken leadership roles outside Army ROTC such as in my sorority, Zeta Phi Beta. When I played sports, I would captain my team. However I am looking forward to the real leadership opportunities I will have when I get to learn battle tactics at LDAC and help teach others in my own ROTC program.”
The road to commissioning as an officer is long and tough, but this does not deter Hardin’s positivity in the slightest.
“This whole experience is going to be great for me,” Hardin said. “I know it is going to be tough and honestly I’m a bit nervous thinking about it. I know I will have to step up and be a leader for others. If I want to go active duty, then I need to focus and get the most out of my training and do my best while I am here at Fort Knox. The more experience I have the better and I know Army ROTC training is going to help me achieve the goals I’ve set for myself.”