The Field Leadership Reaction Course (FLRC) is designed to strengthen the leadership capabilities of Cadets, pushing them out of their comfort zones as they devise unconventional solutions to obstacles in their way. 

With the course completed, the Cadets of 8th Regiment, Advanced Camp, stopped to reflect on the leaders in their own lives, and the people that inspired them to pursue a leadership role themselves.  

Cadet Jackson Lemmon, from Eastern Kentucky University, moves a board across an FLRC obstacle at Fort Knox, Ky., July 7, 2022. The FLRC provided opportunities for the Cadets to work as a team and advance their leadership capabilities.

“My grandfather is what I think of as a leader. Somebody that’s strong and vocal, and can be clear and concise,” said Cadet Jackson Lemmon from Eastern Kentucky University. 

With his grandfather as a strong role model, Lemmon has learned that the principles of leadership revolve around having faith in yourself and those around you.  

“I think leadership is about being confident and it’s about taking responsibility for other people. You have to be confident in your own actions and you have to be trusting of everybody else.”  

Along with Lemmon, Cadet Izabelle Cunningham, from University of Arkansas, also idolizes the leadership qualities that memories of her grandfather evoke.  

Cunningham spoke of her grandfather’s unwavering perseverance and optimism, recalling his tenacity as he completed a difficult hike during his battle with cancer. 

Cadet Izabelle Cunningham, from University of Arkansas, listens as her squad conducts an after-action review (AAR) at Fort Knox, Ky., July 7, 2022. The AAR focused on how well her team accomplished the obstacle at hand and how they can improve in the future.

Despite his illness and the demanding conditions, he rejected negativity and completed the hike. 

“Throughout everything I knew that he was always showcasing his good characteristics,” Cunningham stated.  

Even though Cunningham deeply admires her grandfather’s determination, she understands that developing a well-rounded leadership style cannot be accomplished from observing a singular example.  

“I’ve learned, like, if you only have one leader in mind every time, you’re only looking at certain characteristics every time. You want to look at different characteristics that multiple different leaders have,” said Cunningham.  

With this in mind, Cunningham emphasized the importance of recognizing leadership in everyone. 

“Someone always has something to offer, even if it’s someone that you’re not necessarily fond of. They have something to offer, and you always have something to learn from.” 

While Cunningham advocated the significance of open-mindedness, Cadet Tyler Danner, from Penn State University, highlighted the gravity of leading in a composed manner.  


Cadet Tyler Danner, from Penn State, helps his peers balance a ladder in order to climb across an obstacle at Fort Knox, Ky., July 7, 2022. Danner climbed the ladder first in order to help his teammates from a higher vantage point.

Having learned that mindset from his dad, Danner also hopes to emulate how his father handles trying situations.  

“He’s always like made the right hard decision instead of the easy wrong one,” said Danner.  

With the unpredictability that accompanies leadership, Danner insists that adaptability is key.  

It’s all about “trying to roll with the punches and figure it out along the way,” Danner stated. “Learn from the losses and be happy with the wins.”  

About the Author: Amy Turner