SOUTHWEST ASIA – Third Army and the 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment hosted cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who were participating in the Cadet Troop Leader Training program.
The CTLT program provides cadets the opportunity to serve in leadership positions while being mentored in active duty units for 3-4 weeks.
“For three weeks, I’ve been shadowing a first lieutenant” said Cadet Matthew Longar, a senior at the USMA West Point and a native of Bullard, Texas. “I’m getting the feel of what the Army life is like and what I can expect once I’m commissioned as a second lieutenant.”
Longar said the CTLT program allows cadets the opportunity to see the day-to-day operations of a unit, as well as different aspects of leadership that include taking care of soldiers and assisting soldiers with issues like UCMJ or personal problems.
Also, the CTLT program allows commanders and leaders to mentor cadets.
“As a commander, it’s a great way for us to instill what type of leadership we are looking for when they become a second lieutenant,” stated Capt. Timothy Rober, Delta Battery commander, 1/44 ADA and a Dennison, Ohio native. “Also, our lieutenant’s sponsor the cadets. They are able to share their knowledge and show them what right looks like.”
During CTLT training, Rober mentioned the cadets go through weapons training, the Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer and hands on training with the patriot missile systems and launching stations.
“We try to fit in as much as possible in the few weeks they are here,” Rober added. “We want to show them everything they could expect as a second lieutenant.”
The program also allows cadets to work closely with soldiers.
“What I like about CTLT is learning to work with soldiers,” said Cadet Daniel Nevins, a junior at the USMA at West Point and an Oak Hill, N.Y., native. “At West Point, we work with peer leadership. You lead cadets who are the same age, rank and status. Here you actually lead subordinates who entrust their lives to you.”
Nevins adds when he gets commissioned in two years, his number one priority as a leader is to take care of soldiers.
Nevins added that CTLT in Southwest Asia was not easy.
“Due to the situational environment, it’s more difficult to lead troops with the added stresses and heat,” said Nevins.
Nevins expresses it was a great experience and cadets who go through CTLT will truly gain valuable experience before commissioning.
“It’s a great program for cadets,” said Rober. “It gives them a jump-start to their career by knowing what to expect when they become commissioned.”
The CTLT program is held throughout the U.S. and other overseas locations. Third Army provides a unique training location in Southwest Asia. The cadets get the opportunity to conduct real world training alongside Third Army soldiers who are sustaining vital operations throughout the region.
This work, Cadets train with 1/44 ADA, Third Army for CTLT, by SFC Rauel Tirado, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.