Military presence in the barracks increases
This year active duty military officers assigned to The Citadel have teamed up with battalion and company tactical officers to help coach, teach and mentor the Corps of Cadets.
The Active Duty Officers (ADO) Program adds another component to the college’s leadership development program by acting as a force multiplier for the existing tactical officer structure on campus. Many ADOs have recently returned from operational deployments where they were company commanders or their service’s equivalent. Their combat experience and their familiarity with the latest tactics, techniques and procedures used by the military will add another dimension to leadership development, said Col. Cardon Crawford, head of the Army ROTC detachment on campus.
“Although active duty officers have been used in the recent past as ‘company officers,’ the new ADO program is considerably more robust,” he said.
Under the new program, ADOs are assigned by battalion, then company.
The Army will provide all the ADOs for 1st and 3rd battalions while the Navy/Marine Corps will fill the ADO requirements for 2nd Battalion. The Air Force is assigned to 4th Battalion. Pairing a detachment with a battalion was done to provide a more centralized span of control and to ensure the ADOs were spending the maximum time possible with their cadet companies.
ADOs assist the three tactical officers, who work in shifts, already assigned to each battalion.
ADOs and ADSNCOs from the Army, Air Force and Naval ROTC detachments assist the three tactical officers assigned to each battalion with teaching, inspections, mentoring and other leadership development opportunities in the barracks.
Col. Dick Evans, 2nd Battalion tactical officer, said “the more adults we have providing mentorship the better. It can’t be wrong. “
In addition to the ADOs, each battalion will have an Active Duty Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, or ADSNCO, to work with the Tacs and ADOs in developing the cadet NCOs.
“The Active Duty Officer Program gives Citadel cadets a unique opportunity to interface with officers and senior enlisted personnel currently serving on active duty from all four branches of the armed forces,” said Col. Kevin Frederick, head of the Navy/Marines detachment on campus. “Each active duty officer is hand selected by their sponsoring ROTC branch for their outstanding leadership skills. Cadets receive mentorship and guidance from these role models that will pay dividends in their future military or civilian careers.”
This tactical officer and active duty officer team will ensure a stronger and more diverse leadership program for the cadets. The synergy between these teams of professionals provides a more robust environment in the development of principled leaders for a myriad of careers. Corporate America, much like the military, demands leaders of character with high ethical standards.
In addition to teaching classes, the active duty officers and NCOs help teach classes, take part in inspections and mentor cadets at all rank levels of the Corps.
“The more mentoring and counseling we can bring to the Corps of Cadets the more value we bring to the leadership experience,” said Maj. Ken Boes, a tactical officer in 4th Battalion. “It’s a win-win effort for all of us.”
Special thanks to Army Capt. Steven Williams for his assistance compiling this article.