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Finding Myself as a Leader

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link   All Posts
Roesch Photo It’s hard to believe that April is already here. What is even crazier to think about is that I’m a little over a month away from starting my 2/c summer. It seems as if just yesterday I was reporting in as a swab! But two years have quickly passed by and it is my turn to lay the foundation for future Coast Guard officers. When I put it like that, it sounds so crazy – that’s so much responsibility for a 21 year old! But in that same regard, I feel that I am ready. The Academy really makes you grow up and become incredibly mature.

 

One thing that I have come to appreciate about this place is that it really makes you find yourself. This is something that I didn’t acknowledge or believe until recently; in the past I was always quick to say something along the lines of “we don’t really get the opportunity to express ourselves,” but I don’t agree with that anymore. What I’ve come to realize is that while the military makes you fit a certain prescribed standard, we still have the ability to form our own spin off of it.

 

This realization hit me once I started thinking about the type of leader I want to be over cadre summer. And for the first time, I found myself having answers to these questions – answers that differ from each and every one of my classmates. Over the course of the past two years when I thought that I was being created from the recipe all military officers are made from, what I was subconsciously doing was creating a list of things I like and dislike, slowly molding my own personal leadership style. Looking back on this past year, I see how I developed as a 3/c and role-model for the 4/c. I am passionate and empathic with a drive to help others no matter what the cost. I am a motivator and morale-booster (or at least I try to be!). Moreover, I am extremely extroverted and get my energy from interacting with people; getting to know them on a more meaningful level. All of these qualities plus many more have made me into the leader I will be over the summer as a Waterfront Cadre.

 

I am excited to utilize all that I have learned these past two years and really figure out the type of leader I am. As Waterfront 1 Cadre, I will be present on R-Day, which will challenge my softer side as I will need to be stern but down at the waterfront, I can hone my people skills by teaching the swabs how to sail. Altogether, I am excited for what is to come with my time left at the Academy – I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel!

 

 


More about Allie.