28 May West Point Graduation Wrap-up

“Renowned as the world’s premier leader development institution, West Point accomplishes its mission by developing cadets intellectually, physically, militarily, ethically, spiritually, and socially.”  What’s remarkable about West Point is that the four years serve as a once in a lifetime opportunity for young leaders to completely focus on establishing one’s core values, leadership ethic, and the foundation of a legacy of service.  The time and the focus is what I think is the crucible for development.  I don’t think there are too many institutions where the expectation is to immediately and positively make a difference in the lives of others.  The not so subtle expectation is to do great things, and lead their generation.

As a parent, the four years have served as a time to reflect and review my own core values, the leadership ethic I teach, and that we can always change and adjust our trajectory.  It also meant coming to terms with what it means to become a military family once again; and the potential of a son serving in harms way.   As proud as those new lieutenants are, and should be, I can’t imagine there isn’t a parent of those young men and women who isn’t prouder.  The mark of a leader is service before self, and it’s actually the reward as well (for parents too!).

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