FORT KNOX, Ky.- Cadet Summer Training (CST) combines individuals from all over the country to develop and train the future officers of the United States Army. However, the backbone of CST is the Cadre. Like the Cadets, Cadre go through a training of their own called the Leader Certification Program (LCP).
Lt. Col. Keirya Langkamp, Professor of Military Science at Duke University and Chief of LCP, explains the basics of Cadre training.
“The purpose of training is to get the Cadre together, build the team, understand where strengths and competencies are, bring them through a program where they are certified to teach, coach and mentor Cadets. We have Cadre from every flavor of every war fighting function. To have diversity is immensely valuable for imparting recent knowledge and operational experience to our Cadets. Their experience is relevant in creating adaptive and agile leaders,” Langkamp added. “LCP teaches Cadre members the Adaptive Soldier Leader Training and Education (ASLTE) method. ASLTE curriculum differs for Cadre of Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) and Cadet Leaders Course (CLC) but overall teaches Cadre how to teach, lead and mentor Cadets as well as evaluate and counsel them. Before completing LCP, Cadre go through a culminating exercise where they demonstrate what they’ve learned and get feedback before meeting Cadets.”
The role of Cadre is invaluable in developing young leaders. Col. Kelley, 1st brigade ROTC commander and CST commandant, briefed 10th Regiment CLC Cadre on his expectations while training Cadets.
“First and foremost, the priority is good, hard and rigorous training. You must be better than you thought you could be to inspire cadets to lead from the front. Our primary mission is molding quality young leaders to become officers. There are Cadets with all types of backgrounds and experience levels but you must identify strengths and weaknesses, evaluate and empower. Be involved! You are the example. The example must challenge Cadets despite experience” Kelley said.
Cadet Summer Training is diverse in Cadets and Cadre alike. It is important for Cadre members learn about one another, identify strengths, weaknesses and be adaptive throughout training. Cadre must apply that same process in teaching, mentoring and evaluating Cadets. While putting those skills to work, they must instill in Cadets on how to do the same.
Capt. Mario Carpanzano, Rutgers University Assistant Professor and team leader at LCP, says that training Cadre to lead Cadets has a certain touch and feel.
“It’s not about having Cadets in front of you, It’s presenting a problem, showing them how to work through the problem and work together. The ASLTE method is tremendously powerful in learning to properly evaluate leadership. As Cadre we must understand the student and combine that with our abilities conveying information effectively. We mentor our Cadets to be leaders, think critically and be adaptive” Carpenzano said.
Cpt. Austin Grimes, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill ROTC instructor and 10th Regiment CLC Charlie Co. Cadre, said this isn’t his first year as Cadre at CST.
“I was Cadre here last year and it is rewarding to watch Cadets learn and grow as leaders, develop skills and get to know one another. Watching that happening again is what I’m looking forward to. You really have to prepare before meeting your Cadets. Once they step off the bus it’s 24/7 for 30 days. Preparation is key. Going through training to learn the ASLTE method and how to relate to Cadets is a big part of that,” Grimes said.
The Cadre of CST have a heavy hand in impacting the next generation of Army leaders. They come from all backgrounds and levels of experience. At LCP, they come together, forming a team that motivates, leads and mentors the future leaders of our Nation’s Army.