(A quick story about my experience immediately after the cadre swap.)
Right now I am sitting in my room. Three fans roar around me, slowly drying the sweat that drips from my skin. My boots remain laced around my aching feet. I guzzle down water to quench my thirst and soothe my sore throat. A large sigh escapes my lungs. How do I sum this up in just a few paragraphs?
Just as my fingers hit the keyboard, a stampede of swabs storm past my room. I pause and listen. I could recognize their voices any day. Peeking through the crack of my door, I watch in silence as my swabs rush by. They do not know I am here. They have their backs to me, but I could, without hesitation, name each and every one of them nonetheless. It seems strange, to be hidden away all of the sudden - out of their sight, out of their minds.
While a part of me revels in the glory of my newfound liberty, my other half yearns to stay and watch. How are they doing? Did they remember what I taught them? Exhaustion tugs at the corners of my conscience as I reflect on the toils from these past three weeks. Despite this, I have the utmost confidence that our new cadre will surpass everyone’s expectations for the rest of Swab Summer. Now that I am on the outside, looking inward, I recognize how being cadre has the capability to teach you lifelong lessons.
Within a mere three weeks, as a cadre, I learned how to transform my leadership philosophy and my values into actions. I learned what it meant to truly and wholeheartedly care about the group of people that I was responsible for. My classmates and I developed a new, unique bond as we were thrust into our first Coast Guard leadership roles.
The cadre roller coaster of emotions is difficult to interpret. I want nothing more than to see these swabs succeed, and thus know for a fact that I have somehow, in some way, helped shape them into well-rounded, driven cadets. Four years from now, cadre and swab will unite together in the Coast Guard officer corps – and after this experience, I would not hesitate to stand by any single one of them.
More about Alexis.