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Marshall scholars hear from voices of experience

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by Steve Arel
U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs

LEXINGTON, Va. — The life of a second lieutenant seems golden.

Shiny gold rank pinned to their shoulders. A position of authority. A load of responsibility.

What would serve Cadet Command’s top collegiate seniors and soon-to-be second lieutenants best is to capitalize on the golden opportunities facing them at the outset of their careers, several speakers addressing the students at last week’s 32nd annual George C. Marshall ROTC Award Seminar said.

Second lieutenants should be flexible. They should ensure their team receives non-simulated training that replicates real combat. Most of all, they ought to rely on the experience and tutelage of the noncommissioned officers surrounding and supporting them.

“You will be a part of this Army with some world-class people who are the envy of the world,” said retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, former chief of staff of the Army, who also recognized the NCOs sitting alongside the Cadets. The Army has designated 2009 as the Year of the NCO.

Platoon sergeants, speakers said, will not let their lieutenant fail.

“I would not be the Soldier I am today” without the platoon sergeant, said Gen. George Casey, the Army’s current chief of staff. “They will shape you into the leaders you will be.”

Over the years, more than 9,500 Army ROTC students have been named Marshall recipients. And each year, organizers of the event use proven leaders from various segments of the Army to share stories of leadership and dispense advice to the impressionable Cadets.
The Army’s top two leaders painted pictures of what the students can expect upon commissioning.

Pete Geren, Secretary of the Army, promoted an initiative aimed at thwarting the rising number of sexual assault cases within the ranks, a continuing issue new leaders will face and be asked to fight. He said they will play an integral role in making the Army a true band of brothers and sisters by combating the actions of those fail to live up to the Army values.

“We are a nation at war, but we are a nation at war within itself,” Geren said.

The examples of sexual assault run the gambit, he said, including rape, sodomy and general misconduct. Geren urged the Cadets, as he has other leaders around the Army, to commit to seeing the effort through. His goal is for the Army to become a model for wiping out such crimes.

“We have begun the work, but it will be up to you to carry it through,” Geren said. “You have a bright future ahead of you. You know what does not belong in the Army. I look forward to seeing you shape this Army that conforms to our values.”

Casey said the future lieutenants can anticipate a prolonged period of conflict worldwide, namely the result of terrorists looking to strike fear and defeat democracy.

“They’re not going quit,” he said. “They’re not going to give up. And they’re not going to go away.”

However, he said conflict also will be triggered by globalization, technology and population booms. But what worries him most are places providing safe havens for the enemy and weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists.

“There are over 1,200 known terrorist groups,” Casey said. “I think one will obtain one in the next five years and try to use it.”

Maj. Gen. Arthur Bartell applauded the Cadets for being the “best of the best” and called them the “greatest assemblage of young talent in the country.” The commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command said they face countless challenges and hurdles.

“From all I know of you, I’m certain you are up to the challenge,” he said.

That’s where leaders, such as the Cadets, come in, speakers said. They will be the people to lead the Army and the country through difficult situations.

“You are the guardians of freedom and the American way of life,” said retired Maj. Gen. Robert Wagner, the first commander of Cadet Command. “You make the Army strong.”

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Written by CadetCommandPAO

April 22, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Posted in News

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more articles from you in the future.

    – Jack

    Tech News

    May 17, 2009 at 7:25 pm


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