Fletcher typically has a prominent military portion of our community, with a significant number of students who are veterans or active-duty service members, in addition to several faculty whose work focuses on security policy and military affairs. One of their important functions is to act as liaisons for non-military students interested in learning more about various areas of the armed forces. For those of us with no direct experience or connection, the military can seem complicated and a bit intimidating.
Enter mid-career MA student Ralia, also the USMC fellow at Fletcher, who recently coordinated a group of students who took part in the Quantico Leadership Venture. The program is something of a condensed version of Marine Officer Candidate School, involving classes on leadership and military training, as well as the Quigley, an infamous combat course that, if this video is to be believed, puts the pressure of term papers and finals into perspective.
Participant reviews indicate it was a rewarding experience. Says Meagan:
I would wholly recommend this to other Fletcher students. We were put through two days of boot camp, including staying in barracks, getting yelled at by Gunnery Sergeants, and completing the Combat Course, including the Quigley. We were given a taste of what it means to be a Marine and what it means to lead Marines. Going through this course allowed us to reach our limits of emotional and physical toughness.
Quantico was an experience that pushed us beyond our limits both physically and mentally and taught us the value of servant-leadership. When you have to balance yourself on a rope that is extended over a 10 foot drop into freezing cold water, you can either swallow your fear and move forward with the rest of the team, fall, or stay behind. When you have to crawl through freezing, muddy water and lead your fellow students as their fire team leader through obstacle after obstacle, you keep pushing yourself and your team forward relentlessly. When it was your fellow student’s turn to be the fire team leader and you a follower, you deferred to them to help the unit achieve its goals. We learned the importance of initiative, taking charge, and knowing when to defer to your teammates. That right there is true leadership
Safe to say that these students will be unfazed by whatever remaining challenges the semester can throw at them!