Leadership At The United States Naval Academy

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On June 1st, 2010 at the age of eighteen, a young man stepped out of his parent 's vehicle and onto the "yard" at the United States Naval Academy for the first time. Unsure of the trials and tribulations that lay ahead, he was filled with a mixture of emotions encompassing everything from pride to anxiety to excitement. Leadership was a common concept in his life. He had been an officer in numerous high school clubs, understood the value of hard work, and had spent the last three years in a training program preparing him for this journey. He had many examples of leaders in his life. His father had served a career in the Navy, a path he was proud to carry on, his mother a strong academic, of which he had similar interests, and many …show more content…

Over the course of the next year and a half, the young man would be broken down and rebuilt in the image of the ideal candidate; shaped by the leadership styles of his detailers. This young man was me. In February of 2010, on my eighteenth birthday, I received a large manila envelope in the mail. Inside was my appointment to the Naval Academy class of 2014. I was ecstatic! I had long read about the many great military leaders and strategists that had come from those halls and had a deep desire to emulate them. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the academic year, the mystic began to wear off. The ruse worked for quite awhile, but I longed for more independence, the ability to explore more than my academic interests alone. I longed for the freedom to explore my interests, not the interests I was told to have. Although renowned for their graduates, it is my belief that military academies breed only one type of leader; one who will blindly follow orders and think inside of the pre-determined box. I began to feel trapped and quickly lost motivation and optimism. At the end of the academic year, in the summer of 2011, I made the extremely difficult choice to leave the Academy. This was no simple task, as it is highly discouraged to leave. I knew what resigning from my appointment meant. In that community, I was marked as a quitter, was disowned by the other members of my company and lost the close friends I had made. Regardless of what I was

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