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Sources: Lt. Col. Scott Bridegam, 785-532-5175,;
and Terry Battison, 330-360-4108,
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415,

Friday, Sept. 11, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Seven Army ROTC cadets with Kansas State University's Wildcat Battalion have graduated from the U.S. Army's Leadership Development and Assessment Course with honors.

Honor graduates are cadets who are in the top ranks of their platoons and display strong leadership capabilities professionally and tactically. Nationally, around 17 percent of cadets graduate with honors from the course. This summer, nearly 39 percent of K-State's cadets took honors.

K-State's honor graduates include:

Chad Maulsby, senior in social sciences, Clay Center; Ryan Kirkeby, senior in sociology, Leawood; Terry Battison, senior in fine arts, and Stephen Wiemers, senior in information systems management, both from Manhattan; Lora Marietta, senior in pre-psychology, Oberlin; and Andrew Adam, senior in history, Oskaloosa.

From out of state: Jessica Williams, senior in English, Belleville, Wis.

"These cadets represent everything that we hope our future leaders in the Army will be," said Lt. Col. Scott Bridegam, professor and head of K-State's department of military science and Army ROTC program. "They are gifted and passionate leaders who are motivated to serve their nation even though we continue to live in an era of persistent conflict for our country. Their physical, mental, and leadership acumen represent the best of the best within the Wildcat Battalion."

Army ROTC cadets take part in the Leadership Development and Assessment Course in the summer between their junior and senior years at Fort Lewis in Washington. The course is designed to assess each cadet's leadership ability and is critical to determining what type of jobs cadets will assume when they are commissioned as active-duty Army soldiers.

The camp, which runs 31 days, subjects cadets to physical training tests, weapons familiarization and land navigation training. They also spend time in confidence and leadership reaction courses, and take a refresher training course on infantry tactics before going into the field for several days with only the gear they carry on their backs. To assess their leadership skills, cadets take turns leading squads, platoons and companies. In addition to formal evaluations, there are also self- and peer-evaluations of each cadet's leadership abilities. At the end of the camp the leadership ability and potential of the cadet is known with a fairly high level of certainty, according to Bridegam.

The Leadership Development and Assessment Course is generally seen as the final exam for Army ROTC, even though there is still another year of training prior to commissioning.

More information about K-State's Wildcat Battalion is available online at