I am amazed at how fast the semester flew by! This fall was a very challenging time for our federal government and we felt the impact up here in Boston….furloughing of our government civilians and delays in the stipend and tuition payments to name just a few. We also went through a major change with the way we conduct freshmen orientation and indoctrination. The Battalion Commander, MIDN Mic Byrne, along with his Battalion staff and the Company leadership did a great job at responding to each of the challenges they faced. Overall there was very little disruption to the normal battalion activities.
The Battalion was busy during the fall semester. From a very windy (and cold) Terrier Cup Sailing Regatta to the impressive Navy and Marine Corps Birthday Ball, the semester was very successful. Both Companies held perfectly executed Pass in Review ceremonies and the midshipmen won both the Curtis Cup at BU and the Joint Field Meet at MIT. The semester finished strong with a change of command ceremony that featured a motivational speech from NASA Astronaut and Navy SEAL CAPT (sel) Chris Cassidy. Congratulations to all the Midshipmen for a successful fall semester!
Next semester will bring new challenges and I’m confident that the new Battalion Commander, MIDN Mike Simpson, and his staff will carry on the success from the fall semester. We have a lot of activities to look forward to including Joint Services Military Balls, the Beaver Cup Sailing Regatta at MIT, the Sheehan Cup at BU, and finishing the school year with the commissioning ceremonies for our graduating seniors. Continue to work hard at your academics and make the most of your time around campus, it will go by faster than you can imagine!
I never deserved to be your Commander. I knew that going in. So did you. I believe the same holds true now.
So my parting words will be simple: thank you.
I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for signing a blank check to your country; a check good for anything up to and including your life. That is a responsibility few will ever understand. You must recommit yourself to this responsibility each and every day.
I want to thank my commanders for leading me, just as much as they have led their companies and platoons. It was truly an honor to serve you while you showed me what it means to be a leader. I look up to you more than you know. Go lead others as you have led me.
I want to thank my staff for catching me each and every time I succumbed to my foolish nature. Your patience and positive attitude in spite of what sometimes seemed like overwhelming burdens has been an inspiration. Never lose your faith. And never forget what we did here.
I want, most of all, to thank the two men who actually kept the ship afloat: Mike McCormick and Vadim Reytblat. Words cannot describe my heartfelt gratitude and reverence for your loyalty, dedication, spirit, and friendship. You have made an indelible mark on my heart and on the heart of this Battalion. Thank you.
I wish I could have done more. I wish I could have been the Commander you deserve. But for what it’s worth, I leave you with four second-rate lessons in leadership that I’m still struggling to master myself:
Be a warrior.
Fight for virtue.
Lead with love.
And know that you, too, are loved.
Midshipman 1/c Mic Byrne, Jr.
Battalion Commander (Ret.)
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