SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii — U.S. Military Academy and Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets received a taste of “big Army” life, as more than a dozen cadets trained with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, known as the “Broncos,” earlier this month.
The Cadet Troop Leadership Training, or the CTLT program, is a leadership development initiative to help develop, retain, and ultimately commission quality ROTC cadets as second lieutenants. The intent of this mentorship opportunity is for cadets to shadow and learn from currently-serving platoon leaders.
These particular West Point cadets were divided up amongst battalions within the Bronco Brigade depending on their occupational specialty.
The 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, known as the “Raiders,” hosted two cadets for the brigade. Cadet Jeanphilippe Rossy, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and an ROTC cadet from the University of North Georgia, was one of the two cadets sent to the Raiders.
“Training with the Army has been a great experience,” Rossy said. “I like the discipline atmosphere (and) having a training schedule. … Everyone is working together as a team.”
CTLT gave Rossy the chance to understand much more about the Army than he ever could from ROTC.
“I’ve learned a lot beyond duty station. There’s a lot as a platoon leader, many obstacles to conquer, a lot to manage, and accountability of equipment as well,” he said. “The greatest challenge for me was probably shooting at the night range, doing the team live fire and the stress shoot.”
For Cadet Scott Kerchberger, a native of Deer Park, Illinois, and an ROTC cadet from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), he said he’s had a great experience so far in his assignment with the Raiders.
“I’ve had a lot of good experiences getting to see what bigger Army is like and what different units are like rather than my little hometown ROTC unit,” Kerchberger said.
He stated he had performed night stress shoots with Rossy while using night vision goggles, and performed rappels with full combat load at the Lighting Academy’s rappel tower in East Range. Overall, his time at Schofield Barracks provided a different perspective than barracks life at VMI.
“I think the biggest change for me, so far, is getting to live outside of the barracks,” he said. “In VMI, we’re stuck (at) them all four years, (but) I get to stay off post and come into work every morning. It’s a pretty good deal.”
He said he was looking forward to his slated branch with armored infantry in October.
It wasn’t just the Raiders who provided the opportunity for cadets to learn the lessons of Army life. The 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, known as the “Wolfhounds,” also hosted several cadets for the 3rd BCT.
For Cadet Matthew Farrell, a native of Potomac, Maryland, and an ROTC cadet from Tulane University, the experience was instructional and inspiring.
“I’ve learned all the jobs of the NCOs, the junior enlisted and platoon leaders,” Farrell said. “They’ve really integrated me in as one of their own, and I’ve really (gained) a perspective on how I want to develop my leadership style. I love it here.”