FORT KNOX, Ky.- Cadet Command welcomed the Leadership Symposium representatives for the the 2016 Centers of Influence visit to Fort Knox, Ky. The purpose of the visit is to enhance the knowledge of ROTC and Army Officership as a career, in order to take this information to their constituents back home.
The visit began with a symposium and lecture on the basics of contracting with ROTC and how a Cadet stands up against his or her peers. A key point of this lecture is the discussion based around the concept of ROTC being the bonding partnership between colleges and the military.
Following the symposium, the COIs took a tour of the Patton Museum. This paid tribute to the over 500,000 commissioned officers created by ROTC since 1916.
COI representatives concluded the day with a lunch at Cantigney Facility, while being given the opportunity to speak with Cadets on their summer training. This was followed by a viewing of a Camp Commissioning Ceremony, allowing the visitors to see the culmination of a career in ROTC and entry into the Army’s commissioned officer ranks.
On Thursday, COI representatives participated in a question and answer luncheon at Saber and Quill Officer’s Club. Five Cadets who academically and physically excel at their universities were chosen to get interact with educators explaining why they were involved in ROTC. Reasons included financial purposes, a love for the Army and a general thirst for knowledge.
The COI personnel asked riveting questions of the cadets such as, “How are you treated in the civilian world, Is there a divide at your universities, How do you manage your time between ROTC, work and studies, and Why did you choose your major?”
The Cadets’ responses were educational and positive, inspiring the COI personnel with the bright future of ROTC. COI educators were able to gain an understanding of what it really takes to be an ROTC Cadet. They were able to relate to Cadets and put a face to ROTC, seeing that Cadets are simply college students navigating both military and college life.
Friday’s events did not disappoint as educators got the opportunity to rappel down a 64-foot rappel tower.
Participants received the same briefing as Cadets from rappel tower instructors which included how to properly rappel, how to tie a safe swiss seat harness and what to do in the event of falling in mid-rappel.
Gary Fortunato, Providence College and Senior Military Advisor for the Confidence Committee, said that the COI visits are more than training participation.
“Having our educators come out to Fort Knox is an opportunity to provide them an understanding to better understand what the Cadets go through but to see it from an educator’s perspective. This really allows them to see first hand all the responsibilities the Cadets have and the standards they are held to, not only in training but in the respective ROTC programs,” said Fortunate.
Dr. Page Laws, Dean of the Honors College at Norfolk University, did not rappel but used this time to take in all the training and reflect on what she will take back to Norfolk.
“It’s the role of emotional intelligence, the way teams work together and group dynamics. There’s something about the sacrifice involved on the part of Cadets. I will certainly appreciate the stresses on them a little but more, both the physical and emotional stresses,” said Laws.
Just as Cadets face their fears on the tower, during their visit, COI educators were able to gain confidence in themselves and develop more appreciation for what it takes to be a future officer in the United States Army.