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Citadel News Service
11 Sep 2007

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.

Watch video clip - Capt. Kenneth Bath
Watch video clip - Cadet Jamel Brown

Capt. Kenny Bath: Citadel graduate to Army officer  

Capt. Kenny Bath’s road to The Citadel was a circuitous one.

After high school the James Island (that’s just across the river from Charleston) native enlisted in the Army. Facing military downsizing after a few years he enrolled at The Citadel intent on getting an officer’s commission. Over time he excelled in his classes and in his senior year was selected regimental commander, the top ranking cadet in the corps.


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.

Bath says The Citadel’s unique educational environment coupled with his experience as an enlisted soldier helped prepare him for the leadership roles he has today.

“The Citadel does a great job teaching you how to deal with a lot of different kinds of people. In some ways it’s a much harder leadership challenge than in the military… because you are in charge of your peers.”

That he is a recent graduate of The Citadel helps cadets relate to him and his experiences. And in some ways it is even more important that he serve as a good role model and leader while assigned to the Army ROTC unit on campus.

It’s a position he takes seriously.

"Principled leadership is the same in the Army as it is at The Citadel,” Bath said. “It is through your actions every day -how you act, how you respond to challenges and opportunities and how you motivate people - that you teach leadership. You teach leadership by treating people with respect and living your life by the same standards you hold others to.”

The Citadel’s Army ROTC unit’s mission is to train, produce and commission quality officers for the U.S. Army and motivate cadets to be better citizens for America.

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
Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
Media Contact:
Kim Keelor-Parker
(843) 953-2155

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