Buies Creek, N.C. - When he's not rappelling off of a 37-ft. tower, Dr. Dennis Bazemore serves as Vice President for Student Life at Campbell University. But recently, Bazemore found himself attending marksmanship classes, participating in field exercises and eating Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) with Campbell University ROTC cadets at the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) in Ft. Lewis, Washington.
The 29-day summer course incorporates a wide range of disciplines designed to develop and evaluate leadership ability. Through a series of leadership opportunities, training, and practical field exercises, the course tests physical fitness, leadership dimensions, common sense, and ingenuity. Bazemore, who was there July 12-15 as a representative of Campbell University, said he learned a lot.
"Leadership skills can be taught in many different settings," Bazemore said. "My impression is that the Army is doing a great job teaching and training their cadets to be effective leaders."
Bazemore got a sense of the physical requirements of a combat soldier when he participated in a Field Leaders Reaction Course (FLRC) that required him to rappel from a three-story tower suspended from a rope.
"It was really okay," he said of the experience. "Fears can be overcome. I think the Army's use of the rappelling tower helps the cadets build confidence, one of the most necessary characteristics of an effective leader."
He also spent time on the firing range where the cadets hone their skills with various weapons, including rifles, hand grenades and rocket launchers. He even ate MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) with the cadets, which he described as being "not too bad."