UNF graduate student receives highest honor during ROTC training program

Spinnaker

UNF graduate student Harry Tierney did not spend his summer like other UNF students. He spent his summer at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington participating in the Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC).

Cadet Tierney, 26, successfully completed the program with high marks from his supervisors and was the top-performing cadet during the rigorous training program.

The LDAC, also referred to as Operation Warrior Forge, is a 29-day training program which took place at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. The program is required for Army ROTC Cadets and acts as a skill-building exercise for the cadets’ leadership skills. The program tests Cadet’s physical fitness, infantry tactics and water confidence. Tierney said the program acts as the “pinnacle of your ROTC career.”

Some of the activities included in the program involve medical training and team-building tactics to promote effective working. The physical training aspect of the program includes obstacle courses, sit-ups, push-ups and long-distance running. Cadets were also given written land navigation assignments – as well as physical navigation assignments during the day and night.
Other aspects of the program include two days of patrolling on the platoon level. Cadets ran through Garrison leadership skills to become accustomed to different workplace settings.
Tierney has a military intelligence background and has also been through Ranger school. He has participated in several school programs and he believes the LDAC training program has molded him into a stronger member of the Army.

“They build confidence in your leadership ability,” Tierney said. “These schools help prepare you when you’re given a position to take control of that position, it teaches you a good deal about yourself. You find out more about yourself and your potential as an officer.”

Tierney said he is honored to and proud of his achievements during the training program, but he finds the opportunity to go to school a reward in itself.

“At the end of the day, in a couple of months, to me at least, the award is just another thing you might hang on your wall,” Tierney said. “Going to school and graduating is an award in itself, you don’t really need the extra accolades.”

He received a plaque and a saber for his achievement in the LDAC.

Lt. Col. Scott Jones, who is Tierney’s ROTC Commander at UNF, said Tierney comes with prior experiences in the military that prove to be assets to the military. Tierney has gone through Ranger school that helped give him a great foundation that have allowed him to instruct his peers.

“He has got a great personality and a great demeanor to get along with peers and treat them as equals and not look down on them. He had the highest peer rating of any individual that I’ve seen to this point,” Jones said.

Tierney’s executive officer, Captain John Glasco, said Tierney worked well with his regiment.

“He fit right in just like a piece of a puzzle,” Glasco said.

He said he is studying business administration because of the degree’s versatility in the job market. He hopes that he will get the chance to find a profitable method of using his degree.

“This is a pretty good broad degree that encompasses a whole lot,” he said.

Tierney is scheduled to graduate in December 2011 and will then go off to Basic Officers Leadership Course (BOLC) for the branch he is assigned to through the commissioning process. He said he was interested in the infantry, military intelligence and engineering branches.