Class for you meets once a week, at night, for three hours. We also still have lab on Thursday, but during lab you will be leading the underclassmen through the training, or will be conducting training focused on the critical skills like the orders process or troop leading procedures (TLPs). You will also be putting in more time outside of class than you have up to this point.
Why is this the critical year? Because you will be preparing to go to camp (Leadership and Development Camp – LDAC). This camp is your final exam, and to be competitive, and have the utmost control over where you end up in the Army you must do well at camp. In the GKB your junior year will consist of company and squad level leadership assignments during most weeks. You may be responsible for writing and issuing the weekly training plan (squad operation order) for your squad, or you may be the company executive officer responsible for accountability during the week. During the weeks you are in a leadership position you will be evaluated by a senior cadet, and you will also do a self assessment. The evaluation and self assessment are part of what we call the Leadership Development Process or LDP. This process prepares you to recognize and exhibit the leadership dimensions the Army expects our leaders to process. It is the heart of what makes Army ROTC leadership training unique and effective. LDP consists of hands on practice of small group leadership with near constant feedback.
As an MS III you have hopefully assimilated to college life and have learned how to effectively balance academics and extracurriculars. You have developed the habits of getting out of bed early for PT and eating right to stay fit and healthy. You have developed the ability to stand in front of a group of your peers and speak confidently and effectively. You are able to take charge when you are in charge (or in the absence of leadership), and are able to support the leader when not in charge. By the end of this year you are ready to head to LDAC and be forged into a warrior leader (LDAC is also known as Warrior Forge).
A future blog will cover LDAC and some of the other summer opportunities for rising seniors.