West Point Cadet learns active duty ropes
By Staff Sgt. Jason Thompson, 13th ESC PAO
As part of the United States Military Academy’s academic individual advancement development program, the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), hosted West Point Cadets for a preview of the active duty military experience prior to their senior school year at the Academy June 2 through July 13.
The Wranglers sponsored two groups of four West Point Cadets who took the opportunity to learn the sustainment and support operations of the Wrangler Brigade before commissioning into the Army.
Each group spent three weeks living the Soldier life and shadowing an active duty officer.
Cadet Crystal Christian, a human geography student at West Point, was sponsored by 2nd Lt. Ronnie Madayag, a platoon leader with the 154th Transportation Company, 49th Movement Control Battalion, 4th Sust. Bde., during her active duty internship.
“She did a great job,” said Madayag. “She was very receptive of what was going on and contributed wherever there was an opportunity.”
Christian was given the chance to shadow 1st Lt. Jonathan Watson, a material handling equipment platoon leader with 297th Transportation Company, 49th MCB, as his unit conducted an M249 machine gun range at Cow House Range July 11.
What may seem as usually a routine training event for many units, provided Christian with her most valuable lesson during her visit; flexibility.
“We had a few hiccups attempting to open the range,” she said, “but we were able to make adjustments and conduct the training without additional issues. It taught me that no matter how solid the planning and preparation is, unexpected things will still happen and it’s important to be flexible and ready to make adjustments and move out.”
Overall, Christian said she experienced a lot during her time with 154th Trans. Co. and looked forward to graduating and earning her commission.
“It was a great opportunity to learn from the Soldiers and officers while I was here,” said Christian. “I was also able to take the lessons I’ve learned in school and apply those to the real life situations here, and will also take what I’ve learned here and apply that to my senior year and hopefully make me a better officer when I commission next year.”
Madayag said that he hopes she remembers her time spent interacting with the Soldiers. “The Soldiers are the most important asset for any officer. As she moves forward and is commissioned as a second lieutenant, it’s important to remember the number one goal of any officer is to take care of your Soldiers. If not for the Soldiers, we could not accomplish any mission.”
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