ROTC prepares future leaders through summer camp

August 31, 2007

by Richard Wolfe

Tech hosted Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Summer Leadership School 2007 June 16-23.

Cadet Col. Aaron Beebe, a 22-year-old Tech ROTC cadet and a senior aviation management major, was the cadet commander.

“One of [the school’s] main goals is to build better citizens for America and at the same time instill leadership qualities that can be applied in any walk of life,” Beebe said.

Beebe also said the school, which shows participants effective methods of training and leading, draws college level ROTC cadets to fill leadership roles.

Thirty of the 33 cadets are from Tech’s ROTC unit, detachment 305, Beebe said.

Beebe, who has participated in SLS programs once as a high school student and twice as a Cadet Training Officer, said this was his third time as a CTO.

“We’ve come a long way since the start of the school and it feels good to have your staff able to take control,” Beebe said.

Lt. Col. Mac Bartee (retired), who spent most of his 21 years in the U.S. Air Force in the Strategic Air Command, was the commandant of the school.

“[The Summer Leadership School] has been identified by Headquarters, JrROTC [Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Ala.] as one of the premier summer leadership schools in the nation,” Bartee said.

The curriculum consist of physical training, seminars, guest lectures, drill and ceremonies, a full day of observation of active duty personnel at Barksdale AFB, Bossier City and inspections, Bartee said.

“On a day-to-day basis, the Cadet Training Officers supervise the training of the cadets,” Bartee said.

Lt. Col Bartee said the graduation parade was scheduled to be June 25 in the Hutcheson Residential Hall parking lot followed by a graduation ceremony in the student center.

Cadet Maj. Nathan Kopay, a recent Tech graduate with a bachelors of science of electrical engineering, is a Squadron Commander.

“It’s a great program to gain leadership experience and stress management [skills] for both the JrROTC cadets and the college counterparts,” Kopay said.

Cadet Lt. Col. Gene Bently, a senior mechanical engineering major, who has been in the ROTC program for five and a half years, completed his second SLS as a CTO.

Bently said, “It is a great way for high school kids to learn discipline that will help them in their future college career.”

Laquisha Jamerson, a 16-year-old high school student from Haughton High School in the program, said the she would use some of the lessons she learned in SLS while studying to be a psychologist.

Jamerson said, “We learned to operate as a team and that we should respect each other.”