SGT Stoops, Amanda
There are a lot of reasons to join the military. I’ve seen soldiers from different cultures, social circumstances, levels of education and varying home lives. All of these things can effect the way we develop as soldiers and the way we react to different types of leadership. As a leader, you have to be receptive to each type of personality in order to facilitate effective training. My experiences in the Army have shaped who I am today, and ultimately the type of leader I will be after this course, which is why I start at my beginning.
I found myself waking up at 23 feeling like I was spinning my wheels, waiting for life to start. I needed an extreme change, something to challenge me, and get me pointed in the right direction. I had always thought about joining the military in high school, and also participated with the ROTC in college for a short time. But in the end, I found myself just working and not pursuing an education. I had lost my drive, so I decided to enlist.
Leaving for basic training was very hard for me. I had never been away from my family and friends for such a duration. Exercise wasn’t in my vocabulary, and I obviously lacked self discipline. When I got off the plane in Columbia, SC, I realized life was over as I had known it.
Throughout basic training I started to feel more of a sense of purpose, and dedication to my development. It became a routine to set goals and as I accomplished them, I’d set the sights a little higher. Even through personal challenges with my relationship at home, I began to love the military. I loved training and PT. Day in and day out these things helped me heal myself. My Drill Sergeants pushed me beyond what I ever thought I was capable of, beyond my breaking point physically and mentally. I began to realize that limitations are just that; they prevent you from accomplishing your goals. I dropped all of my previous barriers so that every time I thought I couldn’t...