I Became a Model Cadet

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I Became a Model Cadet

Dr. Laust’s Comments: This student's assignment was to write a personal narrative essay describing an event that dramatically affected her life. Her choice of narrating her rise in the ranks of JROTC is unique, interesting, and very appropriate for the assignment. She does a very nice job of using specific details to describe aspects of the experience as well as employing dialog to accent her account. The reader gets a clear sense of the impact this event had on her life.

I moved to Slidell in the summer of 1998. It was a start of my tenth grade year at Northshore High School. I remember going to enroll the week before school started. I followed my mom into the school library like a lost puppy. There were new kids all over who were just as scared as I was. The room was filled with administrators sitting at tables asking millions of school-related questions to parents who were fumbling through papers to find a retort. Two people caught my attention in the room. They were a girl and a boy sharply dressed in pickle-green uniforms. Their chests were decorated with numerous shiny metals that reflected their accomplishments. The girl's dark brown hair was neatly tied in a bun off of her shoulders, and the boy's was shaven. Their black shoes were so shiny you could see your own reflection in them if you looked. They walked over to me and introduced themselves as Commanding Officer Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Wendy Arlington and her right hand man Cadet First Lieutenant Dwight Lewis. They were friendly. They shook my hand when they greeted me and told me about the JROTC program at Northshore High School. I told them I was nervous about a new school and was looking to meet people. They promised me...

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...e "OOH RAH, good job cadet." Compliments are rare, so this one made me feel like Superwoman. The team brought home a second place trophy on my first of many competitions. I had found my niche.

The following year the next drill team leader was to be picked. I knew I was ready for it. The Senior Army Instructor, Colonel Tommy Palmertree, held an awards ceremony. He kept the team leader as a surprise until the end. Of course, this kept me on the edge of my seat biting my nails in anticipation. Finally, Colonel Palmertree announced me as the following year's leader. He said I would hold the position as Cadet First Lieutenant. I knew that I had finally achieved my goal. I had become a great leader like Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Armington and Cadet First Lieutentant Dwight Lewis. I would lead others and influence them in the same way as they influenced me.

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