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The July 1976 issue of the Blackhorse Newspaper recalled the brief assignment of select West Point cadets to the Eaglehorse squadron as part of the Cadet Troop Leader Training program.  This program, designed to provide Military Academy cadets with first hand exposure to Army life at the unit level, has a long history dating to the late 1960s. At Daley Barracks, two or three cadets arrived each summer for a three week assignment with one of the cavalry troops. Everyone was on their best behavior to insure that the cadets had a positive experience. In the 1990s, with an overhaul of the ROTC program, the CTLT program was opened to all cadets in the university system.

We were able to locate two of the participants from the cadet visit to Daley Barracks detailed in the 1976 article. Ernie Chachere, the regimental CTLT program coordinator and one of the former cadets, Jim Jogerst, recall their experiences and provide brief career and life updates.

Ernie Chachere

I received the copy of the Blackhorse Newspaper article regarding CTLT from Bob and it really brought me back. I graduated from West Point in 1974 and arrived in Germany in 12/74. I was a Platoon leader in E 2/11 and an XO for F and G Troops. In the spring of 77, I was assigned to the S-3 shop in Fulda as asst S-3.

Although I worked on tactical plans, as the junior officer I was assigned by Col Saint, the Regt CO, any and all misc. projects. I’ve told people after I left the Army that a Regt CO doesn’t qualify to have an aide assigned, but at times I felt I filled that role for the RCO.

The CTLT (Cadet Troop Leader Training) program was one of the projects I was assigned to monitor. Its purpose was to expose cadets during their 2nd or 3rd year summer, to life as a LT in the army. My role was to assign them positions in the Regt. and insure they had a challenging experience. Col Saint was a West Point grad, he realized this program could really pay benefits and took it very seriously. Having been through the CTLT Program myself, as a cadet a few years earlier, I felt we knew what to look for and delivered a worthwhile and memorable experience.

All of the cadets participating in the training program arrived together by air at Rhine Main Airport. The program was only open to the Military Academy in the 1970s, however, some years later, ROTC cadets were also given this important pre commissioning opportunity.

At Frankfurt, the cadets were met by their unit sponsors and driven to their posts throughout Germany in POVs, staff cars and jeeps. The Blackhorse, on the other hand, flew our cadets back to Fulda NOE (nap of the Earth) courtesy of the Air Cav Troop. Being in S-3 and helping develop training schedules for the Air Cav made this possible. I think all the cadets initially started in Fulda with the 1st squadron and then, as opportunity allowed, were assigned to 3rd and 2nd squadron as well. The cadets had a great experience conducting border surveillance, learning the tricks of maintaining a M551, being exposed to the professional NCOs and most importantly, learning about the real Army through day to day experience.

I left the Army in 1977. I married my wife Linda (English) in 12/77 who I met working in the Pro Shop at the Bad Kissingen Golf Club in 6/76. That is a great story itself I’ll have to share at another time. We have 2 wonderful children Nicole 24 and Matt 22. Nicole works as a corporate sales rep in wine sales and Matt is a senior at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. After 22 years with Procter and Gamble working in 4 locations, 5 years ago I accepted an offer I couldn’t refuse to what has turned out to be a great job in an interesting business. I am currently the VP Supply Chain and a corporate officer for the E&J Gallo winery.

Jim Jogerst

It has been a long time since the summer of 1976, but I remember that it was a busy time. After the seniors graduated, about 150 of my classmates and I spent three weeks doing calisthenics before going to Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Ground week, Tower week and Jump week were rigorous, but the excitement of those five jumps was worth the strain. Then it was off to Frankfurt, Germany for a month with a line unit, the 11th ACR, through the CTLT Program.

As I recall, everyone started off in Fulda, I was assigned to Charlie Troop. Quarters were in a nearby hotel, so I had a short walk to Post each morning. The days were spent in the motor pool inspecting and requisitioning parts, trying to understand how the real Army worked and otherwise learning as much as I could. On a few days, we knocked off early and played softball.

After two weeks, we packed up and moved to Camp Lee for border patrol duty. My platoon conducted daylight orienteering, using the well defined tree lines and road net as landmarks. The West German people we encountered were friendly and helpful. Shortly after arrival, we conducted a ~15 clicks patrol overnight, getting ambushed by our sister platoon while crossing a clearing; flash-bang grenades at night will make you jump! We returned the favor the following night by conducting a raid on their position and we “won” by getting into their perimeter undetected. I think using one of the searchlights on our M551 as a distraction, and having it blind their night vision helped.

One morning was spent on a joint border patrol with two West German troops. My job was to radio our position back to Camp Lee using the CEOI “I set - I shack” to encode each coordinate. The position was plotted on map boards and on review later it was apparent we were rarely far from the international border’s blue and white stakes. At one site where the border trace took a jog, I had to encode several times as base personnel plotted our position inside East Germany. Maybe I missed a map coordinate or part of the code key since the landmarks were very clear along the border. This was a situation today’s digital GPS would certainly avoid! I guess small mistakes were tolerated at the border camp, I am sure they knew the West Germans wouldn’t stray across the border.

I enjoyed my short tour with the Blackhorse Regiment and then the Eaglehorse Squadron. In particular, with Troop E, I really learned just how large and complicated a cavalry troop was and how the entire chain of command had to work together to best utilize the day. The dedication of 11th ACR troops and resolve of the officers to continuously get better has long stayed with me.

My class at the Military Academy was the first one that allowed cadets to select from all branches of service and I choose Ordnance because this seemed the best match for my interests in mechanical engineering and materials. After commissioning, I was stationed at Fort Hood and was part of the Direct Support Company assisting the initial fielding of the M1 tank. This was also a great experience and once my active duty obligation was completed, I moved on to the private sector and a career in engineering.

Fahnenjunker am Manteuffel Kaserne

What was the experience with officer cadets of the three German Army units assigned to Manteuffel Kaserne during the years of the Third Reich? Kradschutzen Battalion 2, Kradschutzen Battalion 7 and the 13th Medical Replacement Training Battalion records are long lost or hopelessly scattered to find an accurate answer but two sources allow us to fill in at least a part of the story. By looking at the officer accession system of the Wehrmacht Heer and the  brief “201” file of a cadet then lieutenant and company commander in 2 Krad named Prince Wilhelm von Hessen, we can accurately speculate about the experiences of those soldiers who aspired to become German officers when the Kaserne on the hill was still new.

By Skill and Merit

The German Army of the Third Reich, while adopting the trappings and much of the rhetoric of the Nazi movement, nevertheless was strongly rooted in traditions dating back to the unification of Germany under Bismarck and the Prussian professional military model. Germany never established a national army academy in the model of Sandhurst, England, L‘Ecole Speciale Militaire de Saint Cyr, France or West Point but there were a number of private or partially state supported “cadet training schools” dating from the 19th century that exposed the youth of the German aristocracy and rising middle class to the specific study of military tactics, organization and discipline.

Graduates of these schools, as well as other young men without cadet experience but with some level of education and life experience indicating a possible successful outcome, could then enter the army as an “Officer Aspirant” or Anwarter and begin a probationary period on active duty. The program lasted approximately two years and consisted of assignment to a line unit and training at the junior enlisted, then mid and senior grade NCO levels. These men soldiered with their unit, received specialized training monitored at the division level, attended branch specific training courses at centralized locations and were field and academically tested to either “wash out” or progress to each successive aspirant level. This insured that the unit invested heavily in the training of its officers; in a very literal sense, the cadet they trained was the junior officer they received.

At the lower level of the progression, the individual held the rank of Fahnenjunker - Gefreiter, or Fahenjunker - Unteroffizier. Continuing through the training and vetting process, at the higher level, the aspirant was known as a Fanrich and Oberfanrich. This system easily would have been recognized by a German officer from 1914 or 1890. Rather than special rank markers, these men wore combinations of junior enlisted and NCO insignia at the lower level and NCO and officer insignia at the higher level to literally show that they were in a carefully monitored evolution.

During the pre war years, as Heinz Guderian was building the 2nd Panzer Division, he selected the newly promoted Major Hasso von Mantueffel from the staff of the 2 Krad, to run the aspiring officer training program for the division. There probably were several aspirants in K2 and its higher command of 2nd Schutzen Regiment; one brief record that has surfaced belongs to a member of the former German aristocracy, cadet then reserve officer Prince Wilhelm von Hessen.

Von Hessen, a minor member of a German royal family from Fulda, was highly connected to the old guard of Germany. He was the son in law of the only daughter of the former German Kaiser. The end of World War 1, however, signaled the end of political power for the German aristocracy. Families retained their titles, land holdings and some status in society but the gilded age had passed. Von Hessen entered the Army as an aspirant officer in the reserves in 1935 with the 2 Krad in Eisenach. His title of Prince may have impressed some, but progression through the pre commissioning program was based soley on merit and achievement.

Von Hessen’s record does not specify the exact dates of advancement, however, as the unit moved to Bad Kissingen and then Eisenstadt, his career clearly progressed. Perhaps at Manteuffel Kaserne or in Austria, he successfully passed his final examination and probationary period as a lieutenant and received his commission as a lieutenant in the reserve army with active duty status. Upon formal commissioning, he already would have been a proven platoon leader.

Once the war began, still as a platoon leader, he was wounded in Poland and again in France. In 1941, with the campaign in Greece, he was a company commander with K2 and the following year, moved to a staff position with the higher command 2nd Schutzen Regiment. Then, some months later, he took command of the regimental headquarters company. Continuing as a first lieutenant, as the war in Russia began and the 2nd Panzer Division was committed, he took command of Rifle Company 7 in the mechanized brigade and, the same week that his promotion to captain was approved, was killed in action in April, 1942.

We have yet to uncover a similar record of a cadet to officer progression within Kradschutzen Battalion 7, part of the 7th Panzer Division, that occupied Manteuffel Kaserne in the mid 1938 through late 1939 period. It seems safe to say, however, that many of the lieutenants of this unit began in the cadet - Offizier Anwater program of the 2 Leichte Division in the late 1930s.

In 1940, the 13th Medical Training Replacement company was expanded to a training battalion and moved to Bad Kissingen with the requirement of providing basic and field medic training to select draftees of Wehrkreis (military district) XIII in Bavaria. The officer staff would have been small, the only existing roster, from late 1943, does not indicate any Anwater present. This is not to say, however, that no aspirants were ever with the unit, just that that record is not clear.

Also in 1940, the officer accession program changed in light of heavy demands to fully staff reserve units and replace casualties. The first significant change to the cadet training program was that the Anwater period was somewhat decreased in length and combat units were relieved of most of their formal training responsibilities. In the prewar years, units had significant requirements for training personnel at all levels. In combat, this was clearly impractical. In Germany, at the former barracks sites, training facilities were established to train both military skills and to fully support NCO and junior officer training. Still, a part of the program saw probationary NCOs and men in the Anwater program perform a part of their training at the front.

The second major change to the accession program was that combat proven NCOs, long the backbone of small unit success in the Heer, were allowed entry into the officer aspirant programs. Following completion of the abbreviated Anwater program they could easily rise through the company and field grade officer levels based on demonstrated leadership and ongoing combat success.


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