LTC Brechin, USAF, Ret.
Opportunities & Expectations
Imagine zipping across the sky at Mach 1, or seemingly, doing the same across the ice to score for your team! Both are the kind of opportunities that the US Armed Services Academies provide for all of their members. The two links noted below are great examples.
Flying the F-35 -- the US Air Force's Newest Fighter Aircraft
Sisterhood -- Women's Hockey at the US Naval Academy
However, with opportunities, like these examples, come expectations and challenges . . .
Defend our country. Lead our troops into battle. Address the technical challenges presented by cyber warfare, automated delivery systems and other threats not envisioned a decade or less ago. At the junction of opportunities and expectations, we must find, train and field a competent military force.
The Service Academies are a key path to address our expectations and meet the challenges. The 'dotted line' that our high school athletes and scholars follow to attend the service academies includes the opportunity to participate in individual and team sports at all levels during their tenure at USNA, USAFA, USCGA, USMA and USMMA. Each cadet experiences extensive leadership opportunities throughout her or his four-year program. These same members then graduate to become military officers and leaders for our armed forces.
Lt Col Mau's experience as a US Air Force Academy graduate is a good example. She was a high school athlete who elected to join the Class of 1997. She was a distinguished graduate and qualified to attend Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB (Texas). Now, as part of the initial cadre of F-35 pilots, Lt Col Mau's path continues its impressive trajectory, but more importantly, her path illustrates the line from opportunity to meeting the high expectations that she and the military set.
More details can be found here about this exemplary warrior, but one should simply note the significance of the challenges that Lt Col Mau has met (and continues to meet) as a leader of our armed forces.
All of the members of the women's hockey team at the US Naval Academy have the same opportunities today. The same can be said for all of the cadets attending our US Service Academies. The teamwork that they experience and the leadership gained on the ice and at the Academy are invaluable. It will lead this group to a path of meeting high expectations.
The question is: are your 'ready' for this path?
If so, then it all starts with opportunities and expectations!
[I would welcome a chance to discuss details with you. I offer coaching services to pace and prepare you (and your parents!) for the entire Academy application process. Contact me at email@example.com and/or 503.515.7406]