Fort Knox, KY (PressExposure) June 12, 2012 -- The first wave of college students looking to serve their country as Army officers arrive June 13 for the start of the annual Leader's Training Course, which marks its 47th anniversary this year.
In all, 1,000 men and women are expected to train at the post during the summer as part of the program, roughly 30 percent more than graduated in 2011. The first cluster of students begins in-processing June 14. The course will consist of five groups of about 200 Cadets each cycling through, with the last group graduating Aug. 3.
The students represent schools from across the country, coming from as far away as Puerto Rico and Guam. Students that graduate from the LTC acquire leadership skills, which will help Cadets both in and out of the military world.
"Students take away from this skills they can apply not only in a military career but also in the civilian world - time management, organization and self-discipline," said Col. Michael Blahovec, the LTC commander. "These are traits they can apply in all walks of life, as a student and as a person. They take away more than just military training."
The focus of the course, 29 days long, is creating leaders. Therefore, Cadets spend more time heading up squads and platoons and overseeing tactical activities.
The course is built in a progression, with the focus starting with Soldierization skills like drill and ceremony and military customs and progressing through individual skills to collective skills while placing Cadets in leadership positions throughout.
LTC, as it's known today, was born from the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964. The legislation aimed to beef up officer candidate rolls and attract higher-quality prospects by offering incentives to join the program.
Perhaps most notable were scholarships and larger subsistence allowances to Cadets in the ROTC advanced course. But the package also introduced an abbreviated curriculum option for students who did not enroll in ROTC as freshmen but later developed an interest in the program, opening a new market that included junior and community college students. The shortened program paved the way for LTC, creating a six-week basic camp for students who did not complete the basic ROTC course on campus to attend before his or her final two years on campus and, upon completion, enter the advanced course.
The Leader's Training Course is the premier leadership program of its kind in the United States. An intense four-week introduction to Army life and leadership training of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, the aim of the course is to motivate and qualify Cadets for entry into the Senior ROTC program.