Attending the LDAC Graduation and Commissioning Ceremony

New 2nd Lt. Ashley Bailey is congratulated following her commissioning at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., at the conclusion of the 2011 Leader Development and Assessment Course. U.S. Army photo by Al Zdarsky

Every graduation ceremony will be live-streamed on
our Ustream channel at 
http://ustre.am/3nmd starting 9 a.m. PST

Successful completion of Warrior Forge is perhaps the single most significant event in the multi-year Cadet leadership development process. As a result, family and friends of all graduates and commissionees are cordially invited to attend the graduation and commissioning ceremonies.

All graduations and commissioning ceremonies will be conducted on Watkins Field at Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s main post at 9:00 a.m. on the dates listed below. This is an hour-long outdoor ceremony, so please come prepared for the weather.

Graduation and commissioning ceremonies, by regiment for Warrior Forge, are:

  • 1st and 2nd Regiments: July 9
  • 3rd and 4th Regiments: July 13
  • 5th and 6th Regiments: July 17
  • 7th and 8th Regiments: July 21
  • 9th and 10th Regiments: July 26
  • 11th and 12th Regiments: July 30
  • 13th and 14th Regiments: August 3

Cadet Visitation

Graduates. For graduates of Warrior Forge who are not end-of-course commissionees there will be no Cadet visitation prior to graduation. The Warrior Forge Commandant of Cadets is the approval authority for any exceptions to this policy. Cadets themselves must submit any such request through their regimental cadre.

End of Warrior Forge Commissionees. Parents and immediate family members of Cadets who will be commissioned at the end of Warrior Forge will be allowed to have dinner with their Cadets the evening prior to graduation. Cadets can be picked up in their regimental area no earlier than 5:30 p.m. and must be back in the regimental area no later than 9:45 p.m. The Cadets will not be allowed to consume any alcohol.

Given the number of graduates, post-graduation visitation will be tightly controlled as well. Unless a pre-approved post-graduation travel request is in force or the Cadet has been authorized to travel by their personal automobile, Cadets will be transported to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by government-provided transportation following the graduation ceremony. Cadets who live locally may be transported by cadre from their host university. Please refer to the details listed below for the post-graduation visitation policy.

Post-Graduation Visitation and Travel

Cadets may be released to immediate family members (father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, or others designated in loco parentis) at the conclusion of the graduation ceremony only if the Cadet has received prior authorization. Cadets normally initiate the request for a post-graduation travel change at the beginning of the training cycle and are normally notified of approval by Day 16. Cadets may request a post-graduation travel change at any time, including the day of graduation. Under no circumstances should a Cadet or Cadet’s family initiate a travel change without the approval of the Commandant of Cadets. Commissionees will be afforded the same transportation to SeaTac Airport as other Warrior Forge graduates if they desire.

Transportation and Lodging

Guests attending graduation activities must make their own transportation and lodging arrangements. Guests arriving by air into SeaTac Airport should plan for at least a one-hour drive to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. During the morning and evening commute, the interstate can be extremely congested and the drive may take much longer. There are several rental car agencies at SeaTac International Airport. Numerous moderately-priced hotels are located between Exits 129 and 116 along the Interstate 5 corridor, close to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Guests with a valid military identification card may also seek a reservation via the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Lodging office at (253) 964-0211.

Access to Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is 34 miles south of Sea-Tac International Airport just off I-5. Exit 120 services Lewis-McChord on both sides of the freeway. The graduation and post-commissioning ceremonies will take place on main post. Since Joint Base Lewis-McChord is a military installation, access is controlled as follows:

  • All adults 16 or older in a vehicle will be required to present photo identification to gate guards when entering the installation.
  • Guests with a valid military ID and vehicle installation sticker or rental car agreement do not need a vehicle pass.
  • Single-day Pass. Guests without a valid military ID must secure a vehicle pass from the Lewis-McChord Visitor Center (located at the entrance to Main Post at Exit 120) before passing through the Main Post gate. No advance coordination is required for a single-day vehicle pass; however, drivers must have in their possession a valid driver’s license, current vehicle registration or rental car agreement, and proof of insurance. Allow 30 minutes for this process. Display the vehicle pass on the driver’s side dashboard while on post.  Guests who wish to visit with their commissionee the night prior to graduation will receive a pass valid thru the next day’s graduation activities.
  • All vehicles entering Joint Base Lewis-McChord are subject to inspection at any time as a force protection measure.

Handicap Parking

Handicap parking will be available along Liggett Avenue, on the north side of Watkins Field. Vehicles must have a handicap placard or coordinate for a placard with the pre-approved access pass described above.

Regimental Assistance

A regimental representative will be present at the Lewis-McChord Visitor Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the evening prior to graduation and from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on the day of graduation.

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