Service and Leadership: One officer's journey
|This in the third in an occasional series highlighting the unique educational environment at The Citadel. "Service and Leadership" will profile people and events that exemplify "The Citadel Experience," its leadership laboratory and the college's mission of achieving excellence in the education of principled leaders.|
Capt. Kenny Bath: Citadel graduate to Army officer
Capt. Kenny Bath’s road to The Citadel was a circuitous one.
Yet after graduation in 2000, Bath opted not to join the Army. He went into the construction industry but found the job bored him. His wife told him he missed the Army. She was right. So back into the Army Bath went, this time as an officer.
An infantry officer in charge of training and leading troops for combat, Bath has been deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division to Afghanistan and Iraq, leading troops in combat in both places.
But these days Bath is in charge of planning and training for the Citadel cadets who will follow in his footsteps and become Army officers.
Cadets learn the fundamentals of leadership, technical and tactical skills and how to apply them. This process begins once a cadet commits to an Army contract to serve a minimum of three years. The culminating event is the Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) held between a cadet’s junior and senior year at Fort Lewis, Wash.
Once a cadet completes LDAC, he or she begins the on-campus process of how to incorporate the skills learned into being a lieutenant.
A new academic year is under way for the Army Department Last year proved to be banner year with 72 graduating seniors being commissioned as second lieutenants.
During the summer 89 juniors, now seniors, were sent to the Leadership and Development Course at Fort Lewis and 14 Army cadets completed U.S. Army Airborne School; nine completed Air Assault School, and one completed Mountain Warfare School.
Not only has the Army reached out to the Corps of Cadets, it has turned to athletes for future Army leaders.
Four former football players, including team captain Chris Murray, were commissioned at Leadership Development and Assessment Course and five current players, including starting quarterback Duran Lawson, are under contract to commission. Athletes in women’s soccer, men’s cross country, rugby, and lacrosse also wear the Black Badge of a contracted Army cadet.
The Army Department begins this year with more than 230 cadets contracted to commission in the Army upon graduation.
An unprecedented 46 four-year scholarships have been awarded to incoming freshman, an increase of 30 over last year. More than 80 cadets are expected to be commissioned second lieutenants to serve in the active duty, National Guard, and the Army Reserves at the end of this school year—this is the largest number of commissioned Army cadets since 1989.
With the addition of the new commander, Col. Richard Townes, ’83, and several new cadre members, the Army department strives to continue to be one of the top producers of commissioned officers for the U.S. Army.
|More news in the "Service and Leadership" series|