CTLT – CDT Bahnson, 2014

After completing LDAC this summer, I was fortunate enough to receive a cadet troop leader training (CTLT) assignment at Fort

Bliss from August 11th-29th. For those that don’t know, is a great program open to MS III’s in the summer between your MS III and MS IV year.  Essentially CTLT is a job shadowing experience. You are paired up with a platoon leader for close to 3 weeks in one of many Army posts around the world. You spend your time following a platoon leader around getting to experience what he or she does on a day-to-day basis in an actual active duty Army unit. This is extremely useful, because you get to see how the duties and responsibilities differ from (and in some cases, are similar to) the duties and responsibilities you have in ROTC. Let me share with you my experience shadowing a 2LT.

I spent three weeks in Fort Bliss, Texas. Fort Bliss is located just outside of El Paso, a few miles from the border and close to Juarez Mexico. I shadowed 2LT Molinar of the 1-77. 2LT Molinar is an armored infantry platoon leader. Unfortunately for me, I came right in between two large training events for the unit, so I didn’t get to spend any time in the field. This didn’t ruin my experience at Fort Bliss, though! While there I got to spend time with 2LT Molinar and his NCO’s and I got to see what a typical day in the life of an infantry platoon leader is like, in garrison at least.

It was also extremely beneficial because I was provided some opportunities and training that is not provided in the ROTC curriculum. I got to qualify on an M320 (grenade launcher), take part in the counseling of a soldier (with his permission of course), ride around in a Bradley, and look over the evaluation of an NCO I saw perform. My favorite part of the experience was getting to talk to the NCO’s and the stories/experiences they had to share with me, which there was seemingly no end to! I learned what they thought made for a good officer, their thoughts about the military, stories from deployment, their opinions on different army posts, and much more! I would strongly encourage any MS III considering active duty to request a CTLT assignment to get a feel for what the active duty military is like and get a good look to what you will be doing after you commission. I am more than happy to explain in more detail my experience with any one that wishes to hear more.

Truth and Liberty!

CDT Bahnson