After rigorous days of conducting battle exercises in the wooded forests of Fort Knox, however, an exhausted Cadet Binning and the other cadets of 7th Regiment, Advanced Camp, received an encouraging morale boost from Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general of United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, when he visited Cadet Summer Training July 24.
He then spoke to the cadets about the significance of the relationship held between newly commissioned second lieutenants and noncommissioned officers.
Binning says it was an example of true leadership when Perkins made time to casually talk with his platoon.
“Seeing him come out here – it shows that he cares. He’s leading like he’s not in power, and that’s something that great leaders always do,” Binning said.
Cadet Ashley Flood, a student at the University of South Dakota, agreed.
“I think as a leader, you truly have to care about your Soldiers. It really shows that he does care about our future success and the future leaders the Army will have,” she said.
Flood said the visit motivated her to strive for preparedness before she commissions.
“One of the biggest things he said today was be prepared to learn and come prepared to learn and don’t be too cocky or too confident. I think that’s a huge thing. You always have to be ready to learn and ready to take on new roles and tasks that you’re not familiar with because if you don’t come prepared to learn, you’re not going to do well. You’re not going to succeed,” Flood expressed.
After being inspired by Perkins, Binning said the troubles that came from being out in the field allowed him to look forward to his future military career.
“Having the ability to ask what questions we wanted to ask him … I learned so much just from him explaining simply one thing, like the best common mindset you can have as a platoon leader, because he knows what he’s talking about,” Binning shared. “He’s a four-star general. Basically, his word was truth.”