Washington - Part 2

By Brenda S. Brown


When I began working Georgia Military College, twenty-six years ago, one of the first experiences I heard about from certain cadets was what was then called the United States Army "Advanced Camp"; I had no idea in those days that I would ever be invited to visit or participate in part of the program, the following is a continuation of the chronicle about our visit to LDAC. 

The Advanced Training is now known as LDAC, Leadership Development and Assessment Course, and although it lasts only twenty nine days, from my observation, the occasion must seem like an eternity because although the surrounding area is beautiful to behold, most cadets are physically located so far from home.  Their summer training during the first year is at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, but the second year they are deployed to The Joint Base Lewis-McChord, located in the picturesque state of Washington near Seattle. 

Because our excursion group was mobile during the daylight hours, the Army personnel distributed MREs for lunch which according to their official website "includes entree, side dish, crackers, peanut butter/cheese spread, dessert, instant coffee/tea, matches, toilet paper, spoon, and a heater to prepare the main entree. While everything in an MRE can be eaten cold, it usually tastes better warm."  We heated our fare, using the handy enclosed apparatus, and ate the issued food and our determination is that although it is substantial, we preferred the nourishment served at the lodge; some individuals received rainbow-colored candies in their issue; others did not. 

The groups were briefed on Cultural Awareness and Rules of Engagement and subsequently encountered the forces known as Atropians.  Atropia, as explained by the military narrator, is located in the Caucasus, a land where the inhabitants speak Spanish- sounding languages and celebrate customs similar those in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The primary religion of the country is Muslim; an environment where old age is revered and honored.  In this fictional country reside the theoretical enemy of our cadets, the opposing soldiers and citizens have unique characteristics that our young soldiers study at length, and stand alert for attacks from the antagonist. 

After touring Mission Command and observing such instruments as sophisticated simulators, the rest of the afternoon was filled with lessons on rappelling, the practice tower and the forty-foot giant version, a confidence and leader reaction course which although physically taxing was regarded as enjoyable.  We toured the training areas and observed and were encouraged to ask questions of the participants.  The guide explained at the encampment that during a weeklong field training exercise, the enemy will certainly launch several sneak-attacks and at least one night assault.  

That evening we dined with selected cadets in a tented area and enjoyed sandwiches and burgers with the trimmings and desert offerings before we loaded on the tour buses and departed for our hotel.  When we arrived at the inn the cool temperatures and the three hour time difference began to take hold on the guests from Georgia, and we quickly retired to our respective chambers. 

Brenda S. Brown

Brenda S. Brown lives in Baldwin County with Otto, her husband of forty years.  They have two grown sons and daughters by marriage,  Scott and Kimberly Brown and Arlin and Brenda Brown, and four grandchildren; Joshua, Caleb, Catherine and Christen.  Her first manuscript, Precious Gems from Ruby, is complete and awaiting publication. 
She can be reached at www.brendasbrown.com

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