Caleb Preston, a senior in Mercer’s ROTC program, received the highest ranking in his regiment during the Leader Development and Assessment Course, known as Warrior Forge, held at Fort Lewis in Washington. Additionally, Preston received the highest score in peer evaluation for the entire course, from among 12 regiments and 6,000 cadets.
Warrior Forge, a 29-day course, is the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s flagship training and assessment exercise. This year, 12 regiments of 500 cadets each, participated in the training. Preston was named the best among the 500 people in his regiment for his abilities in the field, garrison, land navigation and leadership.
“Preston was ranked number one by his peers because he is knowledgeable, confident, very team-oriented and a ‘get the job done-type of guy,’” said Lt. Col. Robert Purvis, a professor of military science at Georgia Military College, where Mercer’s ROTC cadre is based. “That’s what being a leader is all about.”
Preston’s philosophy for his success is simple, he said. “I’m here for everybody else,” Preston said. “When others are leading, I let them lead. If they ask for help, I am happy to provide it, but privately, not in front of everyone else.”
Preston’s high ranking is a direct result of his humility and hard work, Purvis said, noting that, “Preston epitomizes selfless service – helping the mission, not taking the glory.”
Preston maintains a 3.8 GPA in Mercer’s College of Liberal Arts, with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. Preston plans to be a veterinarian in the U.S. army. He and his wife, Carol, live in Warner Robins with their two children, Matthew and Jacob.