So this past weekend I attended a wedding in Atlanta, Georgia for two of my fellow USMA grads. The bride played volleyball with me and the groom played baseball at USMA. Almost the entire wedding party had attended or had some close relationship with the West Point community. All the groomsmen were officers and three of five bridesmaids attended the military academy as well.

First and foremost, the bride was absolutely beautiful and I thank her and her husband dearly for the kind invitation to share in the next step of their long life together. The wedding was beautiful and filled with tradition.                       

Now, the real reason why I tagged my friend’s wedding in this post is to discuss the importance of networking in the military. For those of us that were West Point grads, the network of alumni is large and far reaching. Many of my classmates have yet to reach the benchmark where they are forced to make a decision to either keep the military a career, or leave for the civilian world. With that in mind, the West Point alumni network becomes extremely important, regardless of which avenue you decide to take. Being surrounded by so many alumni, young and old, reminded me of how important it is to maintain your relationships and consistently work on making new friendships within the officer corps. All of us are so diverse and have so many different backgrounds that if we dare to dream of a future outside the military each of our friends can help us strive to reach for the stars. Each of my friends has a different background and a different view for their future, and all of them are aware of my aspirations. We keep in touch not only because we have such a strong history, but also because we share like visions for our life in the future. We all know that none of us will survive without the help and support of each other.

I learn more and more about others experiences and how they differ from mine and realize that if I ever do decide to switch my path, I have friends with similar experiences to keep me from veering off. Keeping your contacts and your friends close will aid you in the future.  Never turn down an opportunity to be with your close officer friends and always cherish the few reunions we get once or twice a year.  Remind yourself of all the memories you shared with your officer buddies, most of which you will never be able to relive with your civilian friends…the first time you shot your weapon, maybe the first time you failed at qualifying (oopsies haha), the buddy who helped push you up a hill when you were falling backwards with a ruck on, or a friend to remind you that even if you felt you couldn’t push out that run or the field exercise, that you weren’t alone.

Stay true to your friends and hold your relationships close to your heart!  Go GIRLS IN GREEN!