Why The Army is Good at Developing People

Jordan Mendiola

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Not everyone is born with leadership skills, confidence, or internal motivation.

I grew up with my close-knit family, played three sports, did Tae Kwon Do, was an A/B student, and was always responsible.

But what I lacked was leadership, discipline, and willingness to fail.

That is until I joined the United States Army. Here’s a bit about my story of personal development.

Basic Training was a big wake-up call.

About seven months after graduating high school, it was finally time for me to attend Army Basic Training in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

I was a timid 18-year old who didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life, but knew he wanted to follow in his family’s footsteps of serving in the military.

Basic training pushed me to my limits. There were nights without much sleep, intense training like repelling off a 40-foot tower, and a 16k ruck march with over 60 pounds on my back.

I expected to leave basic training in better shape, but I left with much more — confidence in myself, internal motivation, and a sense of purpose.

Meeting fellow soldiers and going through the same adversity.

As a social individual, I naturally was comfortable meeting new people and breaking any tension or awkwardness.

My peers respected me and knew I was a great asset to the team and any of the missions we were placed on.

Instead of doubting myself, feeling like an outlier, and hardly ever saying a word, I became more outgoing, confident, and driven.

Learning how to lead troops, shoot a rifle, and conduct intense missions showed me that even though I was far out of my comfort zone, I was still happy and excited for the next challenge.

Deploying overseas opened up my eyes and gave me more perspective.

When you go overseas, you don’t know exactly what you’re going to do.

I went over there expecting to do construction engineer work, and that’s exactly what I did. I was able to adapt to the Middle-Eastern culture, and especially get used to being away from home.

By being placed out of my comfort zone, I looked within and began writing. I began working out daily. I began telling more stories with my peers and developing long-lasting friendships.

The adversity we faced overseas seemed minuscule because of quality connections with good people.

Through the Army, you can develop into a more open-minded and approachable indivudal.

Attending the NCO Academy and becoming a Sergeant

In the Army, you’re going to be put on the spot a lot, and the biggest part of that for me is the NCO (non-commissioned officer) academy also known as BLC (Basic leadership course).

It’s only been a short portion of time attending the virtual training, but I’m growing even more as a person.

I’m getting more used to public speaking, leading soldiers, and thinking critically.

Every lesson so far has been useful for me and a positive addition of knowledge.

Final Thought

The Army is good at developing people because when we want to say no, the Army says, yes.

Being placed in various uncomfortable positions ultimately help you grow as a person. Without any adversity, you are less likely to grow.

As someone who was a timid, scared, 18-year old, I can say that I’ve come a long way to accomplish some really cool things in my life that I’m proud of.

Without my Army experience, I wouldn’t have as much confidence or belief in myself, and now I feel like my future is brighter than ever.

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Creative entrepreneur, U.S. Army Engineer, and dedicated runner. Committed to sharing ideas that lead to more fulfillment in all areas of life. Email: mendiola1829@gmail.com

Chicago, IL
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