Photo by Steve B. Brooks

ROTC cadets get glimpse of Army life

American Legion National Headquarters played host to around 30 cadets from IUPUI’s ROTC program March 25 in Indianapolis. The cadets, all from nearby colleges, were given a tour of the building by national staff and shown the Legion’s museum on the top floor of the building. National Adjutant Daniel S. Wheeler welcomed the group and gave them a brief history lesson about The American Legion.

Later that day, the Legion’s Information Technology department networked a video conference between the ROTC core and officers from the I-63 Armor unit currently stationed in Baghdad. From halfway across the globe, the cadets were able to ask officers, whose boots are currently on the ground, questions about leadership and the issues that confront them on a daily basis. The session was a valuable learning experience for the cadets, who could be commissioned as officers shortly after they graduate in the next two months.

Foremost among the lessons imparted by Lt. Col. Mike Henderson and Cpt. Paul Stankich was the need for the cadets to show up in shape. Scoring better than 90 percent in all facets of the physical fitness tests is a good way to set an example for the men and women that you lead, both officers said. They also stressed the need for technical proficiency and strong interpersonal skills. The better you know your soldiers, the easier it is to lead them, they explained.

The session, which lasted nearly two hours, also gave the cadets an opportunity to ask questions. After a short wrap-up discussion with their instructors, the cadets returned to IUPUI, the nearby university that houses ROTC cadets from most Indianapolis-area colleges.