Cadet training a long-standing tradition
Sending cadets to learn from military officers has deep-seated roots at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
The academy has been sending cadets to train with active duty officers under the Cadet Troop Leader Training program since at least the 1920s, said West Point spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker.
 
In nearly 100 years of sending cadets to military installations, 21-year-old Cadet Mitchell Alexander Winey is the only cadet in the academy’s records to have died during the mandatory three-week course, he said.
 
Winey and eight active duty soldiers died when their vehicle overturned in flood waters June 2. Three soldiers were rescued and were able to return to work.
Putting cadets with a mentor began with installations along the East Coast and then grew to encompass installations across the continental United States and abroad during the 20th Century, Kasker said.
 
“Cadets attend Cadet Troop Leader Training once during either of the final two summers at the Military Academy, and it’s a graduation requirement for cadets,” he said. “Having the opportunity to work with soldiers, a platoon sergeant, company commander, first sergeant and other leaders in a company provides an experience that will shape and influence the rest of a cadet’s time at West Point. It provides cadets a foundation to inform their self-development and how they want to grow as a leader.”
 
Just about every Army post supports the cadet training, Kasker said. The Academy submits a request to the Department of the Army in October of each year requesting support, posts report the number of cadets they could support to the Army and then the Academy assigns the cadets to a military installation based on a number of factors — to include class rank, post preference, desired branch and summer schedule.
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