By C/SSG Sophia Haynes Kechik
The New Mexico Military Institute is a place where people can learn leadership, independence, and responsibility. These qualities are mutually learned and shared among R.A.T. buddies and new friends. It’s these qualities that form friendships and create a family exclusive to the Corps. A family that remains with the Cadets for the rest of their lives after NMMI.
Each Cadet has a different story to tell, unique in quality and memories. Many Cadets come from different countries or cultures and that diversity is what makes our Corps stand out from other schools around the country. Cadets from all around the world, from Mexico to Samoa to Germany, impact our lives in various ways, whether it be in or out of class, add their own culture and enrich others, whether foreigners or those who have never left the States. Unfamiliar food is tasted, other languages are heard and new traditions are learned, even started among some. This diversity strengthens the Corps and bonds us as a family rather than just a unit.
Family has a distinct significance to the Corps of Cadets, a perspective others schools may not offer. It gives us a sense of protection- that somebody is always at our side. We know what it’s like to be away from our fa and less hesitant to ask for advice from a fellow Cadet. No matter what happens in the lives of the Cadets, we all have at least one person to help us find a way through a problem, whether it be a math or personal problem. Family here can be a Platoon Sergeant, a Troop Commander or even a R.A.T. buddy in the same class. But no matter what, nobody is left behind or forgotten. There are many things on-campus that we do together and each of us learn from those experiences. What is important is not what the Cadet is doing but what they are learning from the experience, learning to do something another way. The family support developed here helps us to succeed in school as well as other activities, such as sports, drill team, etc.
Many people in the Corps of Cadets take the word family seriously for many reasons. When a Cadet leaves or graduates, they become a better person, and they also get a first hands-on experience of the real life of college. We are prepared for our future. No matter what, the family inside is one that will be treasured for life.