FORT KNOX, KY—44th Army Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Nadja West, visited Cadet Summer training on July 12. Lt. Gen. West gave a speech to Cadets and held a question and answer session prior to her speech.
Cadets silently file into Olive Theater on a humid Wednesday afternoon at Fort Knox. They take their seats and await the arrival of the 44th Army Surgeon General, Lt. General Nadja West. General West is introduced, and everyone stands as she enters the theater.
“Where’s Alpha Company?” General West asks as she makes her way to the podium on the stage. Alpha Company responds with an echoing HOOAH.
“Where’s Bravo Company?” she asks. Bravo Company responds with an equally loud HOOAH as General West takes her place on stage with all the appropriate flags beautifully displayed behind her.
“I’m going to keep the three Bs in mind for this presentation. Be brief, be brilliant and be gone.”
General West had three main points for Cadets to take away during her presentation. Where and why leadership occurs, and how leadership is done well.
“I can talk from the perspective of Army medicine and how the Army is a complex and strategic environment, no matter what area you are. And you all are about to enter that environment,” said General West.
General West talked about how even though problems may not directly apply to a person’s direct job, those problems can affect someone quickly if circumstances and plans change. “Understand not only your craft, infantry, armor, intelligence, but you also need to understand the whole strategic environment as you grow and become a leader.”
General West then began a question and answer session with Cadets.
General West shared a personal story about her motivation and perseverance in her journey to becoming a three star general in the Army. In her first year at West Point, General West was a part of the third class at the Academy that allowed women to be Cadets. As a first year Cadet, she was still unsure of her choice and a senior Cadet told her that she would never graduate from the Academy.
“Well, I guess I had to prove him wrong,” laughed General West. She explained that someone telling her that she couldn’t do something only gave her the motivation to prove that person wrong. “That was the only time someone said something like that to my face.”
When asked what the most rewarding thing in her medical career and her career in general has been. She responded, “who I get to serve, take care of the Soldiers always.”
General West left Cadets with this final piece of advice: “Be a team player. The nation’s army is a team of teams. Teamwork is what has ensured our nation’s safety for the last 220 plus years.”
Cadet Summer Training will bring 8,200 Cadets through Basic and Advanced Camp this summer on Fort Knox. These camps are designed to help challenge, grow and improve various skills and leadership qualities within the Cadets. If you think you have what it takes to be a Cadet or if you are interested in a job after college click the following link: https://my.goarmy.com/info/rotc1/index.jsp?iom=IP08-AUTO-R1NA-BR-XXX-XX-XXX-MO-XX-X-BRCMAC:IP08