FORT KNOX, Ky.-After 31 days of unpredictable weather, lack of sleep and going without hot meals and clean laundry, 572 Cadets stood together as a team ready to graduate. These Cadets are apart of the Cadet Leaders Course (CLC), 3rd Regiment.
Cdt. Rebecca Collins, Catholic University of America, explains what her expectations coming to Fort Knox were and about leaving.
“I knew it was going to be hard, but I think all in all it went well. The Cadets in my platoon were awesome and we really helped each other. I learned a lot these last couple of weeks and it really has been a great opportunity and experience. I’m excited and ready to move forward from here,” Collins said.
These Cadets are college students, mainly juniors and seniors, with a range of experiences and experience levels before arriving at Cadet Summer Training.
Cdt. Lindzee Powell, Syracuse University, discusses what it was like being with fellow Cadets 24/7.
“You have 31 days to become a family and team. You have to figure out how to function and work together. It’s not about who you are or where you come from; it’s about what you know, how you use it, and how you contribute to the team,” Powell said.
The CLC 3rd Regiment graduated was named in honor of 1st LT. Jared Southworth. Southworth commissioned through ROTC program as an Infantry Officer in 2006 and earned his Ranger Tab. He also served as a Police Officer with the Oakland, Illinois Police Department.
He was deployed to Afghanistan where his unit was tasked to provide security for embedded training teams and mentoring Afghan Police units in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was killed in action on February 8, 2009. Southworth’s parents were present at the ceremony in his honor and were given a token of appreciation on behalf of Cadet Command and Cadre of 3rd Regiment.
Thirteen of the Cadets were presented with regimental awards during the ceremony for various achievements such as; problem solving, character, communication skills and leadership.
1st Sgt. Robert Anderson was one of the Cadre for 3rd regiment.
“At first the Cadets seemed to never be sure what was going on or what to do. Now they move with more of a sense of purpose. I hope they’ve learned to have patience with people, especially their future soldiers, but know when to turn up the heat,” Anderson said.
A graduation certificate and ribbon were given to all cadets representing they can complete basic military tasks along with having a foundation to establish the critical thinking skills necessary to become a United States Army officer.