February 8, 2010
Cadets all over the nation will be grateful to MAJ Cruce for writing “Cold Hard Facts About LDAC”. LDAC is the single most important event that a ROTC cadet will attend in his time as an Army Officer aspirant. In this second edition of “Cold Hard Facts About LDAC”, MAJ Cruce touches on every aspect of what a cadet must do beforegoing to Ft. Lewis and what to expect once he gets there and starts the assessment, and also a post-LDAC phase where a cadet gets accessions explained, along with a very helpful physical training plan that focuses on everything from running to bench press.
This book has 14 chapters, the first one Identifying The Threat, gives a great start to the book as cadets can recognize what they gottaovercome prior to their departure. THS is one interesting obstacle. Tiny Heart Syndrome is a threat that I have seen cadets have from time to time and have also experienced myself. THS is that feeling you get when you are mentally and/or physically tired. When your alarm goes off at 0545 to go to PT but you decide not to go and sleep in, thats THS. Its something we all have experienced at least oncein our careers. “Cadets who possess the intestinal fortitude to push through the tough situations prevail as true leaders by defeating THS” (Cruce 24).
Another threat cadets must recognize is described as TIV. The Inner Villain, ourselves. I find the TIV to be related to one of our previously mentioned threats, the THS.
The LDP is explained part by part, we get a breakdown of what gets cadets anE, S or N on their seventeen leadership behaviors. “As a leader your ACTIONS are louder than your words” (Cruce 58) A leader can be very good and precise when planning and briefing but its the actions on and how the mission plays out that really matters the most.
The book then follows to talk about the Evaluations and the Leader Assessment Program indications of when and where cadets are put inleadership positions are mentioned here. There are also great insights on leadership that TAC’s usually look for when assessing cadets in this particular stage. “Be proactive and don’t wait for tasks to be directed; act in accordance to the commander’s guidance and intent” (Cruce 70), “Show genuine concern for your peers when in charge, do what is best for the squad, platoon, company, etc. anddon’t lead for a grade” (Cruce 70) these among others are some great guidelines for taking charge that are addressed in this part of the book. Reports and cards are also explained in this section. MAJ Cruce makes it very easy and clear on how to write a good yellow (self-assessment card) and a Peer Report, making them sound positive without leaving out the parts in which the cadet acknowledges thathe/she needs improvement on. The way in which Cadre will fill out Blue cards and Spot reports is also explained.
The LDAC Experience is the next part of the book and it is basically the most important part of it. The first part of it is eliminating the threats that were identified at the beginning of the reading. It means getting rid of all the doubts and unknowns that a cadet has before attendingLDAC. The author gives a basic but easy concept at the beginning of this chapter. “There are never enough resources” (Cruce 107), the point I believe he is trying to get across is that a leader must make the best out of what he has and plan according to it. It is also imperative and mentioned along with the scarce resources given to never micro-manage. Having confidence in the Squad Leaders andTeam Leaders is very important, this will help orchestrate the Platoon or Squad much more efficiently “The bottom line is to give your intent, desired end state and most important, let your subordinate leaders execute and you supervise” (Cruce 108).
Before having confidence in subordinate leaders, cadets must have confidence in themselves, and this is a point that is mentioned by the author....