Forging Professionals

United States Army Cadets at the Leader Development and Assessment Course, also known as Operation Warrior Forge, survey the training area during a patrolling exercise. Photo by J.M. Simpson. Used by permission.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — The Leader Development and Assessment Course, also known as Operation Warrior Forge, is U.S. Army Cadet Command’s flagship training and assessment exercise held here each summer. Every Army ROTC Cadet hoping to pin on the gold bar of an Army lieutenant must successfully complete Warrior Forge. After graduation, most attendees will go back to their colleges or universities to finish their degrees and then be commissioned. Some Cadets, having completed all other commissioning requirements, will receive their gold bars on the parade field during the graduation ceremony.

Warrior Forge is a 29-day odyssey in leadership and Soldiering skills. This summer, 14 regiments will take part in the course — with nearly 500 cadets in each regiment.

From the moment Cadets arrive at Joint Base Lewis-McChord they are challenged to excel. From the Army Physical Fitness Test held within the first few days of a Cadet’s arrival, to the ultimate challenge of managing a patrol squad in the field as events unfold without warning, Cadets are put through their paces and evaluated for their fitness to lead American Soldiers.

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