A freshly tabbed Ranger enters the final regiment of Cadet Summer Training 2022.

From April 1st to now, Cadet Daniel Walters, University of South Carolina, has had less than a week of rest due to back-to-back training including RTAC (Ranger Training Assessment Course), Ranger School, Airborne School, and now Cadet Summer Training. 

Cadet Daniel Walters earned his Ranger Tab from Ranger School prior to attending Cadet Summer Training. Walters is a simultaneous membership program (SMP) Cadet that is completing CST in 11th Regiment. | Photo Courtesy of Cadet Daniel Walters

Walters enlisted into the South Carolina National Guard in 2018 as a 88M, Motor Transport Operator. Early into this career he started seeing success as he graduated with a leadership award from Advanced Individual Training (AIT). Eager for more leadership experience, Walters found ROTC to be a solid path while also taking on the challenge to compete for Best Warrior.

The success did not stop there, as Walters went on to compete at battalion, brigade, and state levels for Best Warrior. Through this experience he was offered a slot to a specialty school of his choice. From there, Walters knew he wanted to attend Ranger School. 

His support system consisting of his fiancé, non-commissioned officers, and his university helped towards his success as a simultaneous membership program (SMP) Cadet. At the University of South Carolina, he connected with the Murphy’s Club that he credits to a part of his accomplishments. The club is designed to develop and prepare Cadets for specialized Army schools. 

“Murphy’s Club prepped me a lot for Ranger School and also Airborne and Air Assault school,” said Walters. “It is a group of highly motivated individuals who want to go after it and get more done. We train mentally and physically – there is a selection every single year.”

After major preparation for Ranger School, Walters stood at Victory Pond for his tabbing ceremony, where he was congratulated by his fiancé, his Brigade Sergeant Major, and the Chief of Staff of the National Guard. 

“It’s something I’ll never forget,” said Walters. “It was a pretty surreal moment to have that yellow and black tab on – and the Leadership Excellence patch.”

Cadet Daniel Walters was congratulated by his support system to include fiancé, peers, and university cadre at his graduation ceremony from Ranger School prior to coming to Cadet Summer Training. | Photo courtesy of Cadet Daniel Walters

One of the last schools to attend for Walters is Cadet Summer Training, which Walters was not originally sure if he would have time this summer to attend due to the list of schools he has attended. 

“To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was gonna go to CST or not.” said Walters. 

Cadet Summer Training is one of the final boxes to check for Walters in order to commission into the National Guard in May 2023. 

“I’m glad I got an opportunity to come to CST and now I’m able to do what I want to do, which is teach and mentor,” said Walters.

About the Author: Amy Turner