"It is important to realize that leadership isn’t about rank. It should come from your own confidence and character, as well as the respect you earn from your fellow soldiers."
My name is (Anonymous) and I am a retired military captain, as well as an ex-Apache Pilot. I chose to go West Point in 1996 and was drawn to the challenge and history; the curriculum demanded a well-rounded student with an emphasis on leadership. West Point is unparalleled in its ability to develop great leaders and prepare them for military service.
I always had a very service-oriented mindset and valued community service. Military service was my way of giving back to my country, but the West Point experience is what unquestionably led me to serve in the military. Adapting to military life is a lengthy process, as you spent your 1st year being immersed in military culture and the way of life. You get thrown in the deep end and have to quickly acclimate.
My journey involved going straight from high school to West Point, then West Point to Flight school. After graduating from flight school I was deployed to Afghanistan as an Apache pilot, 1st Lieutenant. I was an Apache platoon leader, responsible for a platoon that consist of 6 pilots and 6 crew chiefs who maintain the aircraft. You have to ensure that they stay well-trained and are ready for action.
One thing I have learned during my time in the military is that you need to have a degree of confidence and humility in order to handle yourself. It is important to realize that leadership isn’t about rank. It should come from your own confidence and character, as well as the respect you earn from your fellow soldiers.
I have the highest degree of respect for my military. It's important to maintain a constant respect for the people that carry the torch. Even if people don’t agree with the policy and the war we are fighting, they should always respect the soldiers that fight. I am honored to have played a small role in serving my country.