Warrior Forge, otherwise known as the Leadership Development Assessment Course (LDAC) is the final evaluation for Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) cadets. LDAC is the culmination of previous years of training for third and fourth year cadets looking to commission as officers in the United States Army. Cadets are assessed on individual skills and their ability to work in groups in a military setting, both in the field and a garrison environment. Warrior Forge takes place in Ft. Lewis and spans 29 days.
Each cadet undergoes an individual evaluation process consisting of 4 evaluations. These evaluations include 2 garrison evaluations, 1 STX evaluation as a squad leader, and 1 overall evaluation for the entire week of tactics. These evaluations occur in preparation for and under the conditions of a simulated deployment to the fictional country of Atropia. Atropia adopts Spanish as its national language and the customs and traditions of the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. Cadets are tasked with conducting peacekeeping operations while fighting an insurgency. A grade of E (exceeds standard), S (satisfies the standard), or N (needs improvement) is given in each position after weighing the cadet’s ability to thoroughly display 17 leadership dimensions. After 29 day, using the same grading system, an overall final grade is given. The cadet’s PT score, land navigation scores, Teacher-Assessor-Coach (TAC) evaluation, and 2 peer evaluations also weigh into the final assessment as well. Cadets also have the opportunity to score extra points by being peer rated top 5 in their platoon or by earning the Recondo Badge, the requirements of which are as follows:
- First time go in confidence and water confidence Courses and first aid
- No non-medical waivers throughout training
- Score 270 or above in APFT with a minimum of 90 points/event
- Achieve at least 80% on day and night land navigation tests
- Receive S or E for all leadership dimensions
- Meet height/weight or body fat standards
Of all the cadets of Warrior Forge, approximately 10% earn the final grade of E, 70-80% earn the final grade of S, and 5-10% earn the final grade of N. This evaluation factors into the cadet’s accessions packet, along with academic GPA and physical fitness to create an Order of Merit List score (OML). The OML score is used to determine the placement of the cadet into their assigned branch and duty station with the most sought after placements given to higher ranking cadets.