FORT KNOX, Ky. — Every summer, Fort Knox hosts the United States Army’s largest annual training event. Over the course of 100 days, over 10,000 ROTC cadets are trained at the Army installation. 

On Thursday, Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth visited cadets training at Fort Knox. 

What You Need To Know

  • Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth visited cadets at Fort Knox

  • Wormuth observed how future Army officers are trained 

  • She got feedback and shared advice with ROTC cadets 

Wormuth is the first woman to be appointed to serve as Secretary of the Army. 

“Frankly, I know other women that I’ve worked with who could have been the first Secretary of the Army so there’s not anything that’s special about me, but I do think it shows other women in the Army that they can aspire to really senior leadership roles,” said Wormuth. 

During her visit, she said cadets showed the high quality and diversity of people coming into the Army’s ROTC programs. 

“They are incredibly committed, focused, really, really smart, and really, really motivated,” said Wormuth. “We got some cadets who come from Army families and some folks who didn’t know about the Army and have joined us through ROTC.”

The visit was an opportunity for the secretary to see firsthand how future officers are being trained and get feedback from cadets. 

She said that’s essential, given the recruitment challenges the Army is facing. 

Earlier this week, Wormuth’s office announced that with two and a half months left to go in the fiscal year, the Army has achieved just 50% of its recruiting goal.

“I think with the economy being as good at as is, it’s a very competitive job market, so young Americans have a lot of different options to choose from,” says Wormuth. 

Wormuth said 83% of people serving in the Army come from military families. She hopes to change that by reaching young people and families who don’t know about the Army or what it offers. 

“I think what really makes an impression on people is when they see someone in an Army uniform, and hear straight from them about their experience serving in the Army and I think that’s what we need to do better,” said Wormuth. 

Wormuth also shared advice with the young future leaders. One piece of guidance stuck with the University of Maryland student Cadet Thomas Rhoades.

“She mentioned how the best leaders are the ones that care and provide for, like the people that they’re leading. I don’t think you can hear that too many times because it’s something that should be at the foundation of every bit of every leader and their relationship with their followers,” said Rhoades. 

That’s a message Rhoades and hundreds of other cadets at Fort Knox will have as they continue their journey in the Army.