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.