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Shedding light on cadet life

UNG is one of the six senior military colleges in the country, training the next generation of defense in the United States. 

Cadets themselves are students just like anyone else, going to classes every day on top of their corps responsibilities. Many civilian students are aware of these responsibilities, but not the specifics. UNG alum Baila Edwards says, “It truly depends on if a civilian student has a lot of cadet friends or not, if they have early classes, or Monday/Wednesday afternoon classes. Cadets can have very odd schedules that might not be seen a lot by civilian students.” 

The most commonly seen, or heard, part of cadet life is physical training. Edwards says, “PT [is] very early in the mornings only seen by those students who are heading to class by 8 a.m., same for Monday/Wednesday tactical lab training.”

Edwards says there are things she wishes people knew about cadet life. She says, “Probably just how much time someone who is dedicated to theirs and others’ success in the corps, takes up out of their daily life.”

She says, “They wake up early for workouts or inspections with their company or junior year Leadership Development Program. They are on their phones constantly to check for accountability of the cadets who are below them in leadership to make sure they’re set in all things they need to be prepared for. There are closed weekends dedicated to parades, tactical training and so much more.”

Civilian students gave us some specific questions about the corps, and sophomore history major and Cadet Sergeant First Class Noah West answered.

Q. Why did you decide to enroll at UNG as a cadet rather than a civilian?

A. I’ve wanted to be in the military for a while, and contracting through UNG to commission was the best option financially. If I enlisted, I wouldn’t be able to access the benefits that come with being an officer. Being a cadet here was the best way to set myself up for becoming an officer.

Q. How do you fit extracurricular activities into your schedule?

A. My extracurriculars can get really busy and sometimes they overlap. But, even being involved with my fraternity, Miracle at UNG and intramurals, it really just comes down to proper time management and being aware of what I need to accomplish. I am more naturally a procrastination legend, but now I try to work ahead on things so I don’t let any stress build up.

Q. What’s your favorite part about it all?

A. I’ve had a lot of things I’ve enjoyed, but now being in my second year with more leadership opportunities, I’ve really grown to enjoy just developing as a leader, but I also love the group of people that are around me pushing me to keep working hard.

I’ve had some bumps in the road learning what style of leadership suits me best, but I’m grateful to see the progression from the start to where I am now… becoming less oriented on proving myself through a more ego-based leadership where I led to satisfy what I thought about myself and more focused on leading through service by building up the people under me along with my peers with a calm demeanor and maintaining the standard we have in the corps.

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