Inside Rensselaer
* Rensselaer Army ROTC Cadet Earns High Marks in Leadership Development Course
Cadet Jonathon Kohl (top photo)
Rensselaer Army ROTC Cadet Earns High Marks in Leadership Development Course
The Army has always been part of Jonathon Kohl’s life. A native of Harleysville, Penn., Kohl’s father served as an Army Officer as well as on active duty and in the reserve. Kohl noted that growing up with his father in the Army had an impact on his decision to follow in his footsteps, in terms of military service. Now, the Rensselaer senior has been recognized as the top cadet in his unit based on his performance in the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) that was held on the Fort Lewis base in Tacoma, Wash.

Each year, thousands of college students from around the world head to the Fort Lewis base to participate in the course, which is typically held during the summer. The 29-day course, also known as Operation Warrior Forge, is the Army ROTC’s capstone training and assessment exercise. This summer, more than 5,700 Army ROTC cadets attended the course. Cadets at Warrior Forge are tested on their physical stamina, endurance, ability to navigate over difficult terrain, and their team-building and leadership skills.

Being recognized as the top performer in a regiment is a significant achievement for any participant enrolled in the course, and places the cadet among the top Army ROTC cadets in the nation, according to officials. Kohl earned the honor of being the number one cadet in his regiment of 439 Army ROTC students based on his performance during training.

“This honor came as no surprise to the Military Science Department at Rensselaer,” said Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Morgado, professor of military science. “Over time, Cadet Kohl has proven to be an innovative and adaptive leader. Through his course work, practical application, and avid physical preparation, he has acquired the necessary tools to be an extremely effective leader. Of course, all of this would be for nothing without his internal desire to succeed.”

“From a very early age, my father taught me to appreciate the Army values that focus on loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage,” said Kohl. “Since then, I have always tried to follow those values as much as possible, and when I was old enough, I knew that I wanted to pursue a path that would allow me to serve in the nations’ military.”

A total of 12 regiments trained at Fort Lewis and a top cadet was selected from each graduating regiment. Successful completion of the rigorous training is a prerequisite for becoming commissioned as a U.S. Army lieutenant. Following the course, an award was presented to each participant during the regimental graduation ceremony.

“The key to my success at LDAC was being a good follower. Working for others allowed me to be successful when it was my time to lead,” said Kohl. “I felt very humble when I received this award, knowing full well that I could not have done it without my peers.”

A major in management at the Lally School of Management & Technology, Kohl says that he chose to attend Rensselaer based on its academic offerings and ROTC program, which have allowed him to hone his leadership and communication skills. In his spare time, Kohl enjoys scuba diving, playing and serving as a soccer referee, and flying helicopters.

Looking ahead, upon graduation in May 2010, Kohl has been selected to serve on active duty; however, prior to joining the ranks of the operational Army, Kohl will help to train next summer’s Warrior Forge attendees. Of special note, Kohl has been commissioned to serve as an Aviation Officer, and will head to the United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence based at Fort Rucker, Ala. to begin flight school.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 3, Number 13, November 20, 2009
©2009 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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