Military Honors Parade
Featuring the 132nd Corps of Cadets, Georgia Military College held a Military Honors Parade on Friday, March 11, 2011, at 2:30 p.m. on Grant Parade. Each year, the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation presents the MacArthur Cadet Award to the outstanding cadets of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools. The objective is to encourage the students of member institutions to emulate and practice the qualities exemplified by Douglas MacArthur as a cadet at the West Texas Military Institute and at the United States Military Academy. The criterion for the award is the most soldierly performance by a senior class cadet considering academics, athletics, and leadership. The award consists of a check, a uniform pin, an engraved MacArthur Medal and a copy of the book, MacArthur – Melbourne to Tokyo. This year’s award was presented to Sean Tighe and Rem-Martin Tolentino. The parade’s guest speaker was Cadet Julia Mack. Julia joined the Army in February 2008, was deployed to Afghanistan from March 2009 to March 2010, and is currently in the GMC Early Commissioning Program with plans to commission in March 2012. Her speech follows: “First and foremost, I am proud to have served in the best fighting force on the face of this earth. To this day, I proudly display my ribbons upon my chest. Joining the Army was a big deal for me, and has significantly changed my life. The Army provided me with a purpose, a higher calling to lead from the front and help those in need. Basic and Advanced Individual Training opened my eyes to a different military than what I signed up for. I’ve decided my efforts will be better spent to make our Army a stronger and more reliable fighting force for the future. I am a very proud and great-full citizen of this great nation, but I am deeply concerned about our future. I have become worried about the economic state and health of our nation. We must be obliged to challenge ourselves and do what is right, with as much authority, common sense and uniformity as our men and women in uniform who have served overseas do day by day. I feel as though a person who would fight and die for their country would have more loyalty, and commitment to preserve such honors. They have overcome every obstacle that they have faced, which for some has been indescribable. Our founding fathers, a well-built, regimented, and unfailing group of American citizens with a vision, built this country. It will take an increasing assembly of honorably strong and dependable citizens to get us back on the right course. As excellent as the Army is today, we need a superior one tomorrow. We will need it because the tactical environment in which we operate is changing; it is becoming considerably more complex. Currently we are dealing with Islamic Extremist and the threat of terrorism, the impending rise of a new global power in Asia, and the current struggle for power in the Middle East. We are in a global competition for assets, and dealing with persistent problems from failing states across the globe. Our nation no longer faces enemies with traditional armies as we did in WWII, but a system of insurgents who utilize irregular tactics and have no regard for human dignity. Our Armed Forces do a great deal for us, much which is overlooked by many: they defend our homeland and allow us freedom in the air, sea, space, and cyberspace. They also perform humanitarian aid, government development assistance to other countries, and aid in disaster relief efforts. Now it is our turn to give back, to become the leaders of future brave men and women. It is our duty to honor them by coming forward, and working to secure the American dream that so many past, present, and future generations have and will fight for, the dream for a better life awaits us if we are willing to work for it. This is easier said, than done. For few of us, discipline and motivation to do the right thing comes easy. For others, it slips our minds too often and we have to remind ourselves. In life, no one is going to look out for you except you. This generation has a lack of discipline, we want everything handed to us and we do not understand the value of hard work and rewards. Motivation, commitment and dedication to do the right thing are critical actions preformed by leaders. Do not be mistaken. This is the same glue holds our armed forces together. To go on, we must have a proper plan. I understand the value of planning. There is an expression, that describes this well, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” As I see it, we have two options; we can sit back, do nothing, and wait for the other citizens to make things better, or take charge of the situation. I have a plan, and it does not involve waiting around and hoping for someone else to implement change. If you disagree with something, change it, do not just find fault about it, have a plan, be prepared, and implement your plan. You may be here for football, as a basic cadet, state service cadet, or in the early commissioning program. However, we are all here for guidance and leadership. At the completion of your time at GMC, you might not lead troops into combat, but you will lead others regardless of your leadership status. We need leaders everywhere and in every career field, including the NFL. As we experience change, we as leaders need to keep in mind three key ideas that bind us together. First, our leadership remains committed to producing companies that are trained and ready for the challenges they will face here and beyond GMC. Promote the right leaders. We should consider “a multilevel evaluation”, consulting subordinates, and higher-ranking leaders, in order to identify the most talented leaders in our society. Second, we recognize that logical change precedes material change, so our leadership is changing the way it trains individuals to make them more versatile. Our nation needs adaptable leaders that are able to operate in changing environments and make tough decisions. The third idea is that soldiers’ effectiveness depends on their leadership’s commitment to train and support them properly. In the end, it depends on the soldiers themselves. One, who cannot obey, of course cannot lead. For example, you want to serve your Country, but only on your terms, sorry, it does not work that way. Lastly, as we transform, we as leaders must remember we have to change to preserve this great Army today, to have a great fighting force tomorrow. It is clear to all of us who have been here and are in leadership that we have to adjust as generations change. We must pursue discipline in our society, reward those who do outstanding jobs, and guide those who are struggling. Most of us here knows someone who has, is or going to serve. Look at those citizens, and discover what they stand for. For it is those reasons that keep our freedoms. For if we do not stand for something, we will fall for anything. Strength comes at a price, as does weakness, in the long haul that price would be much greater. We must be ready for the change, know what the change is, and do what the change requires. BE- KNOW- DO. Though we face trying times, we must band together to overcome barriers. It will seem as if we have walked, but a few steps, when in reality, we have covered miles.” View additional parade photos here: https://gmcpr.smugmug.com/2010-2011-School-Year-5/Military-Honors-Parade-31111/16217028_e7cd7.
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