The Leadership Of A Volunteer Adult Leader

1430 Words Jul 19th, 2016 6 Pages
1. “You are the new Leading Petty Officer”, a phrase uttered to me by a volunteer adult leader as a 15 year old Naval Sea Cadet following the division’s tragic loss of two petty officers, in what the media dubbed as the “Hail Mary Murder” (reference a). A year into my experience as a Sea Cadet, when the senior youth leader died at the hands of another cadet petty officer. A third senior cadet, who’s relationship was close to the other two, dropped out of the program as he couldn’t bear the trauma of coming back to the division. That left me next in the cadet chain of command. At 15 years old, this unfortunate event put me in charge of about 20 other teenagers, all reeling from the loss of our friends and youth leaders. To say nothing of the fact that getting a new role in this manner is terrible, it happened, and together we needed to help the unit recover and move on with our teenaged lives.
2. The moments that shaped my lens through which leadership is pulled into focus are plentiful and occurred over time. The first, shared above, was being thrust into a leadership role, completely unprepared for the job. The next was my becoming a Coast Guard (CG) Boat Coxswain. This is a matter of great responsibility; CG asset, CG people, CG mission, all the responsibility of the coxswain. Amazingly, my coxswain certification was complete simultaneously with my undergraduate graduation. Consequently, becoming a teacher of science as a civilian job was the next leadership…
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