ROTC cadets get caught up in summer course

Ryan Wilkinson

Summer — a time to slow down, sit by the ocean and sip a drink from a glass with an umbrella in it.


It could also be a time to push yourself to new limits, tackle difficult challenges and learn leadership skills that will stay with you for a lifetime.

That’s just what potential Army ROTC students have in store for them when they venture to the ROTC’s Leader’s Training Course at Fort Knox, Ky.

Many Army ROTC cadets decide to enter the program as freshmen. However, for those who don’t decide until their sophomore year, the Leader’s Training Course offers the chance to make up lost time and also earn a scholarship for the remainder of their education.

“ROTC is really a four-year program,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Paydock, Kent State Army ROTC admissions officer. “But LTC is a 28-day course that brings students who are just joining ROTC at the end of their sophomore year up to speed with those cadets who have been with us for two years. It has been a way for ROTC to work people into the program who weren’t in the system.”

The course is primarily filled with college sophomores who have had no military training or experience. But it is open to anyone who has two years remaining in their education — including graduate students.

“We need you for two more years after LTC so we can finish your training,” Paydock said.

Jennifer Hergenroeder, a graduate student in justice studies, completed the course last summer.

“It is broken up into four parts,” she said. “The first phase is an introduction to the military.”

After an initial instruction on military practices, cadets move on to two more phases filled with hands-on training.

“We rappelled and did a high ropes course to build confidence,” Hergenroeder said. “We also did water training and worked through the Field Leader Reaction Course, which is a huge obstacle course that we had to get through with our entire squad.”

These different phases of the Leader’s Training Course focus on the aspects and elements of effective leadership. The final phase of the course gives cadets a chance to reflect on their experience through constructive criticism and self-evaluation.

Because of her participation in the Leader’s Training Course, Hergenroeder is now receiving a scholarship for her remaining two years at Kent State.

“Camp is free, travel is free, they will pay you $20 a day to be down there and when you get back we can offer you a two-year scholarship,” Paydock said. “I don’t know why everyone isn’t doing it.”

About 60,000 cadets have graduated from the Leader’s Training Course since it began in 1965.

Last year five students from Kent State attended the Leader’s Training Course. According to Paydock, that was an unusually large group.

“I will be sending e-mails about possibly attending to all the sophomores,” he said.

Army ROTC representatives will be in the Student Center from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on tomorrow and Thursday to discuss the Leader’s Training Course and answer any questions potential participants may have.

Contact ROTC and Greek Life beat reporter Ryan Wilkinson at [email protected].