It’s not often that we, as cadets, get to take a bigger look at what we are doing. Sure we have lectures on what it is like in the fleet and what makes a good leader but it all seems so distant. But, today, on my way home for spring break me and my friend, who is a classmate of mine at the Academy, got the chance to talk to an officer who gave us a unique look into our possibilities of our future.
We were sitting in Providence airport and decided to get something to eat while we were waiting the several hours for our flight home for a much needed spring break. Once we were done eating we asked the waitress for the check and she had told us that the gentleman sitting in a table near us had picked up our tab. A little surprised, we decided that we should go thank the gentleman for his kind gesture. When we went to thank him he told us that he was a Coastie as well and was actually going to soon take command of CGC Dauntless stationed in Galveston, Texas, about an hour away from my home. We were amazed that a high ranking officer even thought twice when looking at two freshmen at the Academy. We ended up talking to him for about 30 minutes and he said it was hard to believe that he was in our position 24 years ago. Upon his graduation, he explained to us, he had two goals. Make O-5, check, and take command of a cutter, which is what he plans to do in the next few months. I asked him about what he has found to be good leadership and various questions about his many tours. At the end of our conversation he told us to keep doing what we are doing as long as it makes us happy and everywhere we go we should make it our goal to make a positive difference.
It’s not often that we get the chance to slow down and look at why we go through the daily tasks at the Academy. But every once and a while it is refreshing to take a step back and remember why we are doing what we are doing, and for me, it is to become as impactful as a leader as the officer we had the privilege of talking to today and one day pay it forward.
More about Jessica.