From zero to sixty in under one… year. From the lowest of the low to the elite; from no command to full command of sixty young men. This has been my story. Entering Culver was the equivalent of leaping off a cliff and hoping the parachute deploys. I had no idea my choice to transfer from a premier public high school to a private academy could make my life so difficult. To make matters even tougher was the fact that I was not a typical first year student; I was a New Junior. The academic strain combined with the rigorous athletics and the separation from my family was nearly unbearable at times. However, with a strengthened sense of faith and the support of my friends and family I not only met the standards but exceeded them. Life was not always easy and it certainly was not pleasant but with a solidified will I persevered through the challenges which loomed in front of me. Relentlessly I succeeded in every challenge. From drill to school history; from demanding athletic practices to academic challenges, I exceeded expectations. Constantly striving to better myself and the school in which I had been immersed. People began to notice quickly the amount of work I put into my life as a Culver Cadet. Soon afterwards I was given rank and responsibility and upon demonstrating competence in such leadership I was stunned with an honor few have ever received. “Congratulations Lieutenant” were the words which shocked me at the end of my first year. My accomplishment thrilled me since officers in the corps of cadets are typically students who have devoted their entire high school career towards obtaining such a position. Despite my struggles and my short time at Culver I was given an honor fewer than ten percent of the school receives. My determination and perseverance paid off despite the tears I cried and the physical strain I placed upon myself. Adjustment to life away from home challenged me more than I could have ever imagined. It is because of this strain, however, that I feel accomplished. Without the pressure my achievements would hardly be as rewarding as they are today.