Cadets Prove Their Stuff

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Cadets from Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida are here in Meridian to attend this year's Basic Leadership Training Camp. They began working on teamwork and confidence-building at Camp Binachi Wednesday.

"Our goal here at COPE, Challenging Outdoors Personal Experience, is to give these guys team building, trust, and communications. And obviously, a lot of problem-solving," said Jessie Henderson. "It builds good leaders. Leadership is our main core objective here."

The basic leadership training camp is highly competitive. Only about 5 percent of all Navy Junior ROTC cadets are selected for this course.

"I think it's teamwork. Basically we just want to work together to figure things out," said Andrane McDade of Monroe, La. "It's working all right, because we are a team and teams work together. And we are going to get this thing.

The cadets begin their day with physical training at 5:00 a.m. They have classroom study, drill practice, and the team building at Binachi. Then more it's PT again, just in time to hit the rack at 10:00 p.m.

"Originally, they are having a lot of fun," said Henderson. "But they take back different styles of leadership. Like, sometimes you have to be the big boss and other times you have to share the leadership when everyone has a say in the matter of getting the objective completed.