Citadel cadet leaders got up every day this week before sunrise and started the day with vigorous physical activity.

Then they spent hours in classroom activities, planning for how they will effectively lead more than 2,000 of their peers throughout the school year.

They completed personality assessments and took an honest look at themselves.

They learned to work as a team.

This is a group not used to sitting still. Today, most of them say they're ready to get out of the classroom, to get to work. They're eager to put what they've learned into action.

"We came here looking for an opportunity to find out how we can build our teams and our companies so we're working as a unit," said Elisha Woienski, a junior.

He thinks that he's now better prepared to lead new students "with minimal incidents and maximum effectiveness."

He was surprised at how intense the program was, he said, pushing cadet leaders through nine to 12-hour days.

But it's helped him prepare to be responsible for younger cadets. If he does his job right, some of those cadets will rise up and become leaders.

"That's the beauty of The Citadel. We influence the generations that come behind us," he said.

Clinton Handelson, also a junior, says he took the opportunity to improve. In the past, "I've been a little more blunt than I should be," he said. He's learned to be more tactful, and thinks that cadets under him will better respond to him now.

Delta Nunez-Rojas, another junior, said she will "resist the urge to do something just because it was done to you."

She become more knowledgeable, and confident in her ability to do her job. "Just because something was done a certain way before," she said, "you don't have to do it the same way again."

Read the full story about the The Citadel's leadership training in Sunday's editions of The Post and Courier.