|Groß-Lichterfelde General Cadet Institute|
|Motto||Gott mit Uns|
|Officer in charge||Generalmajor Walter Heldt|
12205 Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Berlin, Neue Deutsche Reich
|Former names||Andrews Barracks (US Army)|
The General Cadet Institute in Groß-Lichterfelde is where all officers in the Reichswehr are trained to take on the responsibilities of leading the soldiers under their command. The Initial Officer Course is 48 weeks long, including recess periods. The Institute is based in the former McNair Barracks in Lichterfelde, Berlin. Unlike some other Officer Training Academies, the Institute is not a university.
The Reich Ministry of National Education identifies a candidates aptitude for military service and leadership potential during secondary education, and the purpose of the 44-week Initial Officer Course is to develop this by expanding an Officer Cadet's character, intellect and professional skills.
At the end of the course a newly-commissioned Officer will be qualified to lead and manage soldiers while at the same time upholding the Prussian virtues of selfless commitment, respect for others, loyalty, integrity, discipline and courage.
Military training is infantry-based so that everyone, no matter what their eventual Branch of Service, will have mastered the core essentials before they go on to more specialised training.
Overall, the core objectives of the Course are:
- To develop commanders of courage and willpower, with the temperament for decisive action in difficult and dangerous circumstances.
- To foster attitudes to integrity, selflessness and loyalty which set the soldier apart from others.
- To teach Officer Cadets how to think and communicate as commanders and to foster a deep interest and care for the individual.
- To achieve a grounding in German Military Doctrine and its significance in all forms of conflict.
- To encourage the analysis of strategic and war studies as a foundation to military thought and wisdom.
- To train Officer Cadets in the basic skills and battlefield disciplines of soldiering.
The course is divided into 3 terms.
Term 1 sees Officer Cadets acquire basic military skills as they transform from civilians into soldiers. At this stage of the course there's very little free time, as the schedule is packed. There are introductions to leadership, tactics, map reading, living in the field, weapon handling, drill, physical training and personal administration such as ironing, polishing boots and room layout. The focus is on teamwork and building confidence.
During the three or four week recess at the end of Week 14, all Officer Cadets go on a one week Adventurous Training (AT) course outside the Academy. During this they earn a qualification which enables them to organise and lead an AT expedition of their own at the end of Term 2.
Term 2 sees the Officer Cadets training moves towards developing Officers rather than raw recruits. The Platoon Commander, a Hauptmann, now comes into his or her own as the emphasis turns more to leadership, initiative and the role of the Officer. Officer Cadets start to spend more time the academic wing of the Institute, studying subjects like conventional war, international affairs and leadership psychology, but there are still plenty of tough, demanding field exercises.
This is the term in which Officer Cadets find out about which regiment or corps they have ben selected to join. This selection is based on their aptitude for a specific area of employment during secondary education and also determines the course of study they will take at the Military Technical Institute. Selection interviews start in Week 12 and by the end of term most people know which regiment or corps they will eventually join.
Throughout Term 2 Officer Cadets do the detailed planning for the Adventurous Training expedition they will go on during the first week of recess.
Term 3 gives the Officer Cadets just fourteen weeks in which to complete their training and get measured up for the uniform. he Directing Staff give them more responsibility, so it's now up to the cadets to motivate and organise themselves, stay fit, arrange sporting activities and plan fund-raising events such as charity balls.
The focus in Term 3 shifts from learning about conventional war to different kinds of operations, such as counter-insurgency and peacekeeping.
Again, Officer Cadets take part in demanding and realistic field exercises which include live firing. The final term ends in a flurry of returning kit to the stores, packing boxes, collecting the last pieces of new uniform and getting ready for the Commisioning Parade. Family and friends come from far and wide to join in the celebrations that mark the end of a tough but immensely fulfilling year at the Institute and the award of a Commission to the proud new Reichswehr Officers.