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HPU cadets grow with Warrior Forge

by Lindsey Rowland, special by Kalamlama


Summer came and went this year, but this break was a bit out of the norm for some HPU students. Several students from HPU traded in barbecues for combat boots and beaches for barracks. These students packed their duffel bags and headed for Fort Lewis, Wash., to a place called Warrior Forge. This camp, also coined LDAC (Leadership Developmental Assessment Course), is mandatory for Army ROTC cadets in their third year who must successfully complete it in order to move on to their fourth year, graduate, and earn their commission as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

Warrior Forge is a nationally sponsored training exercise conducted each summer. This camp is considered the most important training event in a cadet’s preparation for an army career. Students from 272 college campuses nation- wide come together for 32 days of training. To which they adhered to Army procedures and were evaluated as potential leaders. Warrior Forge tests a cadet’s intelligence, common sense, initiative, and vigor. Students are challenged in a 24-hour-a-day spotlight, physically and mentally, as individuals, soldiers, team members, and leaders.

On arrival, students were assigned squads and organized into platoons. They would reside with these platoons during their stay at Fort Lewis. Students come into the platoons knowing no one, and leave having formed reliable friendships and become stronger and more efficient as a team.

The core events of this summer included land navigation (night/day), the Army Physical Fitness Test, the grenade assault course, the Individual Movement Techniques course, Basic Rifleman Marksmanship, NBC Training (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical), the Confidence Course, and Squad/Patrolling Field Exercises. Each day students rotated through leadership positions, and were evaluated by senior training officers. These evaluations are part of each cadet’s file.

Warrior Forge is not all work. Between training and evaluations, though, cadets find time to enjoy other things appropriate to camp. Fort Lewis is known for its towering ant hills, which in some areas can be found every few yards. These ants are well organized and demand much attention from cadets who get in their way. While the ants may not have been fun, the slide for life was. It’s a cable that runs from one side of the lake to another, starting on a high platform. Cadets grab on to a metal bar and hold on as they slide down the cable, eventually dropping off into the water.

By the end of camp, students have an understanding of how well they militarily performed certain tasks and are better prepared to make decisions under pressure. They learned not only to be leaders but also followers. “By the end of Warrior Forge I felt like I had grown as a person and had a better understanding of what kind of leader I wanted to be,” said HPU student Laurie Holmes.

So if you would like to trade your beach barbecues in for more excitement next summer, Army ROTC is the place for you. ROTC is always looking for good students and leaders.

Anyone interested in the program or a scholarship call (808) 956-7766 or e-mail wcrawfor@ or gblt@ or check out our Web site at



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