MIDN 1/C Steven LaDine
Hometown: Whitinsville, MA
School: Boston University
Major: Business Management & Admin
Concentrations: Organizational Behavior, Operations and Technology Management
Service: Marines (Maybe Logistics MOS)
Describe your childhood:
My childhood was very free range. As a kid I spent a lot of my time outside with my brother and sisters and parents.
Why the Marines? Do you see yourself doing 4 years, or 30?
Of course the main reason is the standard cliché: I want to serve my country. I didn’t have any prior contact with the military before ROTC through family or anything. The way I see it, I am of able body, able mind, and able spirit, so it is my duty to get out there and serve the nation I love.
What is the most important lesson you have learned since joining the Naval ROTC?
I don’t know about any one big lesson; it was more of a lot of little lessons. In ROTC, the military and life in general, one of the most important things you can do is know yourself and seek self- improvement. Always strive to be better and set goals for yourself. But as a leader, it’s no longer just about you. It’s about the team. As a leader, your job is to ensure that the whole team is growing and developing with your mentoring and guidance. Ideally, these things should be complementary. If your team is improving, you should be too. For example, take this past semester’s emphasis on drill. MIDN Brewer, MIDN Coughlin, and I have been instructing the battalion in drill: sound off, do it again, fix it, repeat. I know that to the midshipmen it seems like I’m being picky or harsh, but teaching drill has forced us to learn it more proficiently ourselves as well. It’s a learning experience for everyone.
Do you have a role model?
Gunnery Sergeant Askew has been my role model throughout ROTC over the past 4 years. There were times when I doubted how badly I wanted to pursue this, but GySgt Askew would always energize me and make me more enthusiastic. Aside from his dedication to the Corps, exceptional bearing, and intimidating physical ability, GySgt Askew was the definition of selflessness. He could always make time for me or another Midshipman in his day—personal time on weekend mornings or late weeknights included.
Do you have a favorite thing about Boston? Any hidden gems?
I will miss running up Summit Ave. and along the Charles river.
What do you do in your spare time?
There’s no such thing.
What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years?
I would want to know how America is doing… Whether or not the Constitution was still intact.
Tell us about your study abroad experience.
I studied in Sydney, Australia the fall of my Senior year. I flew out just two days after graduating OCS. I turned twenty-one in transit right as we crossed the international date line, so I never actually had a twenty-first birthday. It was immediate culture shock, but a fantastic opportunity. I had a blast and it was a great break from regular college life and ROTC obligations.
Is there any wisdom that you want to pass on? Something you wished MIDN 4/C LaDine had known?
Take advantage of all of the parts of college life that won’t be around when you graduate. You’ll always have a gym, you’ll always be able to lay around on your couch and watch TV. But what you won’t have is the chance to talk to professors and students from all over the world. There are so many extracurricular opportunities to learn and experience new things that just don’t exist outside of a college campus. Famous guest lecturers come and speak on very niche topics, and you can find a club for just about any activity that exists. In the real world, this is the type of stuff that people would drive hours and pay good money to experience. Don’t box yourself in. Don’t waste weekends holed up in your dorm room nursing the after effects of a night out when you could be out enjoying life.
Soon to be 2nd Lt. LaDine will soon be saying his good-bye to this battalion this May. He brings incredible dedication and competence to the fight, and any future command will be lucky to have him. Although his absence will leave a void, he has passed on his wisdom through his mentoring, and imbued his subordinates with the grit needed to succeed. The time has come for him to pass the torch.