College Army ROTC cadets gathered at Howard University to participate in an Officer Professional Development session, during which they received first-hand accounts from several officers on their experiences in the armed services.

More than 300 cadets from Howard University, Morgan State University, Bowie State University, Georgetown University and George Mason University attended the forum.

The senior leader professional mentorship forum included officers who serve as principal advisors to President Obama. Among those present were Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of the Army John McHugh, and Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, coordinator of Project GO (Global Officers); the top leaders participated in seminars and panel discussions.

Other panel members spoke about their experiences, gave advice to cadets and discussed their positions and jobs.

Those panelists included officers Brig. Gen. Combs, Lt. Gen. McConville, Lt. Gen. Ferrell, Lt. Gen. Bostick, MG Cheek, COL Gordon, Maj. Gen. Richardson and Maj. Gen. Waff.

Cadets also had the chance to ask questions to panelists about their thoughts and opinions on certain topics, such as how they overcame obstacles and fought sexism and discrimination in the Army.

The Army ROTC program at Howard utilizes Army resources to enhance cadets’ ability to develop into competent, confident and adaptive leaders within society and the armed forces.  This event aimed to enhance cadets’ growth and development as leaders, but it also was meant to shape the landscape for future events of this magnitude at Howard.

Cadet and 1st Lt. Aaron Orgain thought that the event was a great experience.

“It’s good experience to make connections, see generals in my field and get a look at what’s  there,” Orgain said.

“I felt this was a very good experience,” he continued. “Generals aren’t untouchable. You can actually ask them questions. They have a wealth of experience to offer.   got to mingle with fellow cadets from different universities. These will be the second lieutenants or an officer that  will be sharing command with in the future.”