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cadet blogs

Learning Leadership

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link   All Posts
Sherman Photo The Coast Guard Academy strives to “develop leaders of character,” which is something that we as cadets can do—develop into such leaders—in every aspect of cadet life. There are, however, special opportunities to put those leadership lessons into practice here at the Academy. One such position is the company guidon bearer. While named for the position in drill, that is, the one who carries the company’s distinguishing flag, the guidon’s role is much more important. This individual is charged with supervising the development of the underclass cadets, especially the 4/c.


I am the Foxtrot Company Guidon for the fall semester, so I’ve spent the past three weeks (and will spend the next fifteen weeks) working with the 4/c cadets (freshman) so that they can become accustomed to life as a cadet. I’m also the one who enforces the rules, especially the ones that apply specifically to 4/c (e.g. squaring meals, keeping one’s eyes in the boat, and knowing indoc).


While I would enjoy sharing with you all of the leadership lessons I’ve already learned just in these past three weeks, I don’t have the time or space to do that. Instead, I’ll share my “command philosophy,” my written statement about the values on which I will base my leadership decisions. We received training on command philosophies at the beginning of our 2/c summer; command philosophies are important parts of Coast Guard leadership. We’ll see them in the fleet, and eventually have to write them ourselves. What a better way to prepare for that than to create one while at the Academy. That’s what it’s here for, after all—to train us to become officers.


More about Justin.