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Cadet Officer School

Flight 4 pre-volleyball
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Flight 4 pre-volleyball. Photo credit: C/Maj Kyra Willis, Cadet Commander, Fayetteville Composite Squadron (click image to view full size)
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COS 2015

7/30/2015–– From July 19th through July 30th I attended Cadet Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.  In the two weeks of being there I learned invaluable skills, was intellectually and physically challenged, and made many friends. 

In the first couple days of being in Alabama we were assigned a flight and we were given our schedules and our expectations. The expectations given to us were few but we were held to them. We were expected to be on time to lectures, flight time and, volleyball. Senior Members were there to mentor and instruct but not to watch us. We set our own alarms and watch the time ourselves so we were not late to anything. We had to write papers, do impromptu and planned speeches, participate in seminars, and participate in volleyball and team leadership problems (TLPs). Any downtime we had we used to study and work on our essays and speeches. 

During our flight time we would discuss the lectures and become stronger as a team. I was in flight 4. One of our two flight instructors told us that he had never seen a team form so quickly. To be a part of that team was amazing. We worked really well together, as did the other flights. Each of the flights were not only able to work together but the entire school as a whole created a bond with each other. Flights were not isolated and that helped us by being able to have the friendly sense of competition without knowing anything about the other flights. So we became strong as a school not just as a single flight. 

COS was not filled with essays and speeches however. We played volleyball every night. Each night we played a different flight for 3 games each night. The point of volleyball was more for teamwork than winning. We had a volleyball captain (our flight rotated the captain) and we had to create our own strategy for playing. Team Leadership Problems were extremely fun. Basically, a TLP is where your team is given a problem and you have to solve in within certain restrictions. Some have a time limit or a limit on talking. The purpose of TLPs is to make you think about every possible angle to be able to solve the problem given to the team.  During our free time we did work on our speeches and essays but we did spend a lot of time socializing. I ended up making lots of friends and spending a large portion of my time hanging out in the day rooms just playing card games and talking.

Overall, COS was an experience that I will never forget. I gained so much from being there for just a short amount of time. I have grown so much as a leader and as a follower. Every flight became family and it was hard to say goodbye to everyone. If I could go back to COS every year I would.