The Golden Eagle Battalion at The University of Southern Mississippi recently earned top honors at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC). Out of 39 universities within the 6th Brigade at LDAC, Southern Miss’ ROTC Cadets placed second, topping perennial rivals, including University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Auburn University, University of South Alabama, Tulane University and Louisiana State University.
The Golden Eagle Battalion comprised of 16 cadets, attended LDAC which took place from June 21 to August 3 at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington. Over 5,900 cadets from all 279 ROTC battalions in the nation participated in LDAC. The battalions are broken up into brigades and Southern Miss falls into the 6th Brigade.
“LDAC is a mandatory school that helps determine our cadets’ futures,” said Lieutenant Colonel Joseph E. Worley, chair of the Department of Military Science.
Worley explained that LDAC is a 29-day training exercise in which the cadets are evaluated on their physical fitness, situational training exercises, platoon operations, and much more. LDAC performance contributes to each cadet’s order of merit score that helps determine his or her active or reserve component.
“Last year, we ranked 21st within 6th Brigade at LDAC, and the year before, we ranked 18th. We are very pleased with our jump from ranking 21st to 2nd place,” said Worley.
“The high ranking affirms our training and the quality of our cadets. It provides a great deal of pride and prestige in our program and from our superior chain command within the Army. This is not just a quality program. It is the best program in the area right now as far as training our cadets to become future Army officers,” added Worley.
All of the Golden Eagle Battalion cadets were juniors during LDAC and have now moved up to their senior year. Seven of the sixteen cadets received an overall excellence on their LDAC scores, and none of the cadets received a “Needs Improvement” score.
For more information about the Department of Military Science, housed in the College of Arts and Letters, call 601.266.4456 or visit www.usm.edu/army-rotc.