Somehow, someway two years have passed since reporting in to the Academy and it sure does not feel like it. As a 2/c cadet, I look back on all my experiences and the ones that were the most memorable were from this summer. The two trainings that stuck out the most to me were the Costal Sailing Training Program, CSTP, and my cadre experience.
The whole point behind 2/c summer is developing your leadership role and method. CSTP is a program where four to eight cadets with one safety officer on sailboat get the opportunity to sail each day around New England from port to port for two weeks. While sailing between various ports such as the beautiful Martha’s Vineyard and historic Nantucket, we each get to take turns being watch captain, navigator, deck hand, or cook. The point is to expose us to each perspective of leadership and understand how to lead your peers, which most would argue is the most difficult.
During CSTP I learned probably one of the most important lessons for being a leader; that lesson was you must be technically competent before you can lead a group. If you have no clue what you are talking about then how can the crew respect you. For me, sailing was not exactly my strong point and therefore I faced challenges in expressing what I wanted of my crew. Using rational thinking, the only way to overcome this was to use the members of the crew as resources to help me and in fact this worked out allowing us to reach out port of call safely.
The other portion of my summer was the cadre experience; I had the privilege of participating in the AIM program which exposes rising high school seniors to life at the Academy. Not to boast, but my cadre section was by far the best. We worked in such a way that was enabled us to give the AIMsters the best experience possible. For the five us this is something we will never forget and we are all grateful for; it was very rewarding getting to share our stories and our lifestyles with those who aspire to have the same as ours.
And now here I am two weeks in to my junior year at school, waiting to finish up the back nine on my Academy career. Never thought that it would go this fast.
More about Michael.