Echo Company Cadets salute during their graduation ceremony, which marked not only the end of their own training, but the end of the 2012 Leader’s Training Course. Jacob Hill/PAO
By Katie Lever
The 2012 Leader’s Training Course drew to a close Friday morning with Echo Company’s graduation, LTC’s fifth and final company. Rain forced the ceremony indoors — the first time a graduation hasn’t been held outside since 2005 — but couldn’t stop the event and dampen the excitement.
“As an infantryman, I would have liked to have it in the rain,” Maj. Gen. Jefforey Smith, the graduation guest speaker told Cadets sitting inside Waybur Theater. “But we care about these Cadets so much we didn’t want them to get wet.”
On a more serious note, Smith, the commanding general for U.S. Army Cadet Command, commended the 150 Echo Cadets for their hard work and sacrifice. Continue reading
Shot and edited by Desirae Duncan and Brad Rea
Echo Company Cadet Russell Simms spends his last day with his godfather Mac Washington, who works for LTC. The two met three years ago through ROTC and Washington will be taking a permanent position at Fort Knox after this summer. Jacob Hill/PAO
By Katie Lever
The Leader’s Training Course, generally speaking, is the key to Cadets’ future in the Army.
However, Echo Company Cadet Russell Simms’ motivation lies in the past. He wants to bring honor to his late adopted father’s name.
“There were plenty of times I wanted to quit (LTC),” he said. “But I’m not doing it just for myself, I’m doing it for my dad as well.”
Shot and Edited by Tyler Wilcox and Desirae Duncan
Echo Company Cadet Lenora Brafford, a student at the Wentworth Military Academy and College in Lexington, Mo., collects her CIF forms and a clipboard as Echo Company goes through the process of returning the gear they were issued for LTC training. Jacob Hill/PAO
By Monica Spees
Standing out in the Army is typically something Cadets have learned to avoid. But Echo Company Cadet Lenora Brafford, 17, said she hopes she catches everyone’s eye.
“When people ask me about my life, I say, ‘I’m not the person I was because of God,’ ” Brafford said.
Keeping God at the forefront hadn’t always been on Brafford’s mind. At her Buckeye, Ariz., home, Brafford had planned on going to a public university and probably participating in ROTC. She had also been praying about possibly going on a mission trip. It was during this process, Brafford said, that she started to get closer to God.