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Seeing How Army Leaders Are Made

DeAses and other leadership course participants
Tina DeAses (back left) and other staff members from across the country participate in a capsizing exercise during the Leadership Training Course at Fort Knox, which was held June 24-28. 

Every summer the department of military science sends SHSU faculty and staff members to visit ROTC training courses across the country “in order to promote an understanding and appreciation of the leadership development process used to transform Army ROTC cadets into future Army leaders,” according to Capt. Christopher Wooten.

That mission was accomplished this summer when two members of the Recreational Sports family, wellness director Tina DeAses and associate director of outdoor recreation Marvin Seale, made the trips to the Leadership Training Course and the National Advanced Leadership Camp, respectively.

DeAses spent June 24-28 at Ft. Knox observing the LTC, which counts as credit for the first two years of ROTC.  

“It provides an opportunity for those who did not participate in ROTC during their freshman and sophomore years in college, to catch up with their peers,” Wooten said. “Cadets who attend LTC also earn a scholarship that pays for their last two years of school (tuition, books and fees).”

The program, geared more toward attendee participation, allowed DeAses to do such things as rappel, canoe, participate in a ropes course, swim with a gun over her head, and jump off a diving board blindfolded, among other things. Though “definitely physically demanding,” she said her experience was “awesome” and was something she learned from both professionally and personally.

“I think more than anything what was great about the experience was that it was very motivational, like stepping up to the challenge. Whenever you are going to rappel off a 50-foot tower, it kind of gives you butterflies, and it gets you all excited, but at the same time, you can’t say ‘no’; you have to step up to the challenge and accept it and just do it,” DeAses said.
“What was awesome professionally was just seeing the ROTC cadets as such leaders. It was amazing seeing them; there were some vice presidents and vice principals who were there who were at least in their 50s and were scared to death to go down the tower,” she continued. “It was interesting seeing these 18- and 19-year-old cadets talk them through it and be so professional about it. It was awesome to see them, as young students still, be in that role and be able to step up to the plate the way that they did.”

With no personal experience in the military, Seale said he considered himself a perfect candidate to attend the National Advanced Leadership Camp, held July 12-15 at Ft. Lewis, Wash.

“I wouldn’t have been the first person if a student came up to me looking for direction to send them over to ROTC necessarily, but having gone to that and observed the training, I think I would be much more likely after talking to a student to put that forward as an option,” he said.

“I think one of the most impressive things that I learned was with an all-volunteer Army these days in the United States, they have a pretty elite group already. So I thought there was much more emphasis on developing versus excluding,” Seale said. “I thought it was, for lack of a better term, a kind of kinder, gentler Army than the stereotype that I had had in my head, and that’s another reason why I would be more prone to talk to a student or turn a student towards our ROTC if they’re looking for career opportunities or direction.”
The NALC is a requirement for those cadets who want to pursue a commission in the United States Army, according to Wooten.
Seale, too, had the opportunity to participate in some of the cadet activities.    

“This particular one saw a lot more upper administration folks and maybe an older crowd of educators, but we were given opportunities. I, for example, shot an M-16 on the range. That was fun; it was exciting. That was pretty much the extent of doing what the cadets were actually doing. Opportunities were given for doing the rappelling and the slide of life.”

Both DeAses and Seale said they enjoyed their experiences and wouldn’t hesitate to take the opportunity to go again if they had a chance.

“I think that educators on this campus, if they are at all interested not only in going to Ft. Louis, or Ft. Knox, as Tina did, to go and talk to the Army officers here that are running our ROTC program and look for those opportunities,” Seale said. “They are very good at picking up the cost and being very accommodating in an effort to get you there to let you see just what our students are doing in the summer and the extra load that these ROTC students are willing to carry.”

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SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt
Sept. 9, 2003
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Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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