Warrior Forge Overview

Warrior Forge 2012 has come to an end. In this video Cadets and cadre share advice in order to aid future Cadets in excelling while at the Leader Development and Assessment Course. Congratulations for those who graduated and good luck!

WF2012 Hooah Video

Compilation video of all that Cadets endure while completing the Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

The legend of the LDAC ants

Justin Trujillo a member of the 2011 Public Affaris office stands next to one of the legendary Ant hills at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. This ant hill topped out just under Five feet tall and Six feet wide. U.S. Army photo by Jesse Beals

By: Hannah Van Ree
U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs

The forest floor of Joint Base Lewis-McChord is alive, alive with ants. Cadets see for themselves the true power of nature as they maneuver around the mini highways of moving sticks and pine needles during their base-wide training. The Squad Situational Training exercises (SSTX) and patrol (PSTX) lanes are where Cadets get an up-close encounter with the six-legged legends of the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC).

If Cadets hadn’t been briefed on the enormous ant hills prevalent in the tactics training area, they might have been concerned.

All Cadets are briefed before they conduct a mission about the possible environmental hazards, and the ants are one of them, said Maj. John Brauneis, the tactics safety Officer. Read more of this post

Breaking down cultural barriers enhances mission-effectiveness

By Noelle Wiehe
U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs

Cadets of 6th Regiment train at the Cultural Awareness course alongside second lieutenant actors who play the roles of Atropian-natives on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. U.S. Army photo by Al Zdarsky

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – Practical training in the U.S. Army is crucial. The situations within the training may be extreme, but at the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), preparedness is one of the most important aspects of Soldier combat-readiness.

“In today’s world, in order to do our mission, we have to understand and be aware of the cultures that we’re going to be working with,” said Lt. Col. Jon Negin, officer in charge of the Cultural Awareness training. “Culture is all around us as we conduct our operations these days.”

Cadets attending LDAC are subjected to a made-up Atropian culture. This culture is meant to resemble, but not mirror, a culture they are likely to encounter in Middle Eastern and Southwest Asian countries. Through several different stations which make up the Cultural Awareness training site, Cadets build confidence in their ability to communicate with foreigners and in their ability to operate as a squad.
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Cadets practice Cultural Awareness

Warrior Forge Commandant of Cadets, Col. Dean Shultis, talks about the seriousness of cultural awareness at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Safety First

Warrior Forge Commandant of Cadets, Col. Dean Shultis, talks about managing risk and implementing safety during the Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Logistics planning vital to Cadet training

By Noelle Wiehe
U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs

Cadets of 11th Regiment In-Process during the first days of their training while at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. U.S. Army photo by Jesse Beals

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – The Army consists of less than 1 percent of the United States’ bravest and most dedicated individuals, without whom the Army would not prevail in combat. The vigorous training of the future Officers of the Army would not be possible if not for the strategic planning and organization which goes in to the logistics within the Army’s Officer training courses.

“Nothing happens without logistics,” said Vicky Vital, property liability clerk within the logistics department at Warrior Forge. “Without us, the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) couldn’t happen.”

Cadets must negotiate confidence courses, training facilities and field training exercises at Joint Base Lewis-McChord as a part of LDAC in order to become second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Under the logistics committee at LDAC fall four subdivisions – Food Service, Supply, Services and Transportation. Combined, their mission is to coordinate and execute support for the Cadre and Cadets involved with the training course.

Everything from the smallest to the largest logistical issue is ultimately the responsibility of the chief logistical advisor to the Warrior Forge Commander, Lt. Col. Michelle Holliday. Read more of this post

The Importance of Logistics

Warrior Forge Commandant of Cadets, Col. Dean Shultis, discusses the importance of logistics for mission success.

Keeping Cadets healthy at LDAC

By Alexandra Kocik
U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs

Every Cadet’s blood is drawn for their permanent record, which will follow them throughout their military career. U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Paley

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – The low hum of voices and rustle of paper rise and fall with the waves of Cadets filing in for medical processing. Nurses give directions to new arrivals while a doctor looks over a Cadet who may be allergic to bees. A Cadet avoids looking at the needle as a nurse fills the syringe with blood. At the back of the building, several staff members organize more than 7,000 records of Cadets who will participate in the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC).

Each month, the medical staff processes more than 3,000 Cadets at LDAC. The initial medical examination marks the beginning of a process involving a team of doctors, nurses and medics in charge of keeping Cadets healthy at LDAC.

“We follow Cadets from the time they arrive to the time they go,” said Amanda McNulty, a family practitioner who works as the deputy Officer-In-Charge for Warrior Forge medical. “Our job is to patch them up and get them back out to train.”
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Familiar faces, higher rank: a year after LDAC, former Cadets return as lieutenants

Second Lt. Tela O’Rurke communicates with evaluators during the Field Leader’s Reaction Course. U.S. Army photo by Alexandra Kocik

By Alexandra Kocik
U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – With their eyes on the goal of commissioning in the Army, Cadets complete nine tests involving rappelling down heights, navigating new territory, trusting their equipment and pushing their bodies to the limit.

After passing the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), select Cadets return to the course as lieutenants. This return trip back allows these former Cadets to gain experience in the field by working with officers.

“We augment the staff we have here with 2nd lieutenants who are products of the system already,” Lt. Col. Derek Reeve, chief of training said. “We don’t have to spend a lot of time with them to teach them how to evaluate or act around Cadets, because they already know.”
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TAC staff train to standardize evaluations of Cadets

By Alexandra Kocik
U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — “An Army leader is anyone who by virtue of assumed role or assigned responsibility inspires and influences people to accomplish organizational goals,” according to Field Manual 6-22 (FM 6-22), a guide to Army leadership.

The Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) measures Cadets’ potential to be leaders in the military. The leadership development staff holds mandatory classes to ensure cadre use standardized leadership and evaluation methods to assess Cadets’ progress through LDAC. They hold Tactical Officer (TAC) staff school to calibrate cadre members responsible for evaluating platoons. Each platoon has a TAC, a lieutenant and a noncommissioned officer who are in charge of assessing their Cadets. Qualified assessors are also assigned to the various training committees to evaluate Cadets. Read more of this post

Leaders assess risks before testing Operation Warrior Forge Cadets

By Alexandra Kocik
U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs

Master Sgt. Frank Boaz conducts a secondary equipment check before Cadet Carlos Diaz from the University of Texas at El Paso rappels down the 30-foot wall during Operation Warrior Forge. U.S. Army photo by Alexandra Kocik

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — Masks, ropes, helmets and maps are just a few of the tools cadets will use during Operation Warrior Forge. Although not all of these items are dangerous, the exercises they are used in must be carefully planned to avoid broken bones and equipment. Leaders with U.S. Army Cadet Command spend countless hours developing ways to avoid accidents during the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) with a motto of “Safety first, safety always.”

There are safety standards for everything from driving a 15-passenger van to running the land navigation course. Cadet Command uses a process called Composite Risk Management (CRM) to assess the dangers of any action taken on base. Risk assessment matrices measure the probability and severity of hazards and develop ways to control the situation for maximum safety. High-risk activities must be reworked to meet minimal risk requirements.
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