Mississippi Valley State University

September 30, 2014

Leadership Development Advanced Camp

The Leader Development and Asessment Course, also known as Operation Warrior Forge, is held annually at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The U.S. Army's largest training exercise, LDAC is the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s capstone training event.

The purpose of the course is to train U.S. Army ROTC Cadets to Army standards, to develop their leadership skills, and to evaluate their officer potential. Most Army Cadets attend LDAC between their junior and senior undergraduate years after having contracted to join the Army. Successful completion of LDAC is a prerequisite to becoming an Army officer through ROTC.

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The 29-day course starts with individual training and leads to collective training, building from simple to complex tasks. This building-block approach permits integration of previously-learned skills into follow-on training. This logical, common-sense training sequence is maintained for each training cycle. Every day at LDAC is a day of training. Below are some highlights:

Land Navigation
Land Navigation training must be mastered early in the training cycle for the Cadets to be fully successful in the tactical training which follows. The Land Navigation evaluation consists of three events totaling 100 points. The written examination is worth 20 percent. The day Land Navigation test is worth 50 percent. The night Land Navigation test is worth 30 percent. Each cadet must earn 70 percent on each test to pass this event. A passing score in Land Navigation is a criterion for success. Prior to Land Navigation, cadets will learn field craft while living and sleeping in the woods. They will set up field-expedient shelters using ponchos and whatever else is available. They’ll learn how to maintain noise, light and litter discipline.

Confidence Training
This includes rappel training, the Slide For Life, Log Walk/Rope Drop, and confidence and obstacle courses. Confidence Training is designed to challenge the cadets’ physical courage, build confidence in personal abilities, and help them overcome fear. At the rappelling site, each cadet executes one 17-foot rappel and several 37-foot rappels. Cadets demonstrate confidence in their ability to overcome fear of heights by executing the Confidence/Obstacle Course, Log Walk/Rope Drop and Slide For Life.

Field Leader’s Reaction Course
FLRC is designed to develop and evaluate leadership, and to build teamwork early in the training cycle. Course administration is accomplished using the established cadet organization and chain of command. Cadet leadership potential is assessed by committee evaluators. Cadets are provided the opportunity to get early feedback on their leadership strengths, weaknesses, styles and techniques.

CBRNE
Chemical, Biological Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive Training teaches Cadets how to administer a nerve agent antidote, how to protect themselves from chemical and biological contamination using their assigned protective mask, decontaminate themselves and individual equipment using chemical decontaminating kits and how to react to chemical or biological hazard/attack. In addition, Cadets must go through the CS gas chamber and the COBALT Challenge Lane.

U.S. Weapons Familiarization
Familiarizes cadets with the operation and employment of infantry squad weapons and call for fire grid missions. The Cadets train in the fundamentals of operation and engaging of targets and emplacement of crew-served weapons such as the M-249, M203, and M136.

Cultural Awareness
Teaches cadets a basic understanding of cultural matters and how cultural awareness will facilitate mission success. Cadets learn how to conduct bi-lateral discussions with local officials, how to conduct a knock and search mission and how to defuse volatile situations using an interpreter.

First Aid
Cadets develop confidence in their ability to react properly to battlefield wounds. Through hands-on training and evaluation, cadets learn critical first aid skills.

Maneuver Training
In the first block of instruction in maneuver at LDAC, cadets learn individual battlefield skills, combat movement techniques and procedures necessary for subsequent tactical training at the squad level. Maneuver training is a vehicle to teach and evaluate leadership. It introduces conditions of stress that parallel those found in combat. Tactical training introduces new skills, provides performance-oriented reinforcement opportunities and increases the degree of difficulty and sophistication of training events. Cadets learn the skills necessary to function in a Tactical Training Area This building-block approach provides the best opportunity for cadets to learn and for cadre to assess leadership potential.

Tactics
This year Squad Situational Training and Patrolling Situational Training Exercises have been combined under the tactics committee. They take place back-to-back while cadets are at the Tactical Training Base.

Tactical Training Base: Cadets operate for five days out of a hard site facility between Maneuver Training and Patrolling. They learn how to provide security by guarding gates and doing squad-level reconnaissance around the TTB, how to conduct TTB operations, and how they have to prepare for Patrolling.

Squad Situational Training Exercise: Squad STX is a four-day, two-phase event. The first day, the squad training phase, is designed to train squad battle drills and collective tasks. The last three days, the Squad STX lane phase, are designed to evaluate leadership using tactical scenarios. Each cadet receives two formal evaluations of his/her performance as a squad leader during this phase. Squad operations build on and reinforce all previous instruction. Cadets use knowledge of land navigation, terrain analysis, weapons systems and all individual training previously presented.

Patrolling Situational Training Exercise: Patrolling STX is a two-day event that provides cadets practical experience in leading Soldiers at the section level in a challenging, realistic and fluid environment. On the first day, cadets undergo training and then during the last three days they participate in an exercise where they are formally evaluated. Developmental feedback is provided to all levels of leadership. Patrolling STX builds on and reinforces all previous instruction received during the course. The event ends with a 10K foot march.