Nathan Glencer: “Leading to Serve”

The army is often reduced to three words: honor, duty, and country. Realistically the US military is far more complex, and its soldiers more familiar than many civilians think.

Leading to Serve considers the experience of one cadet, Katlin Christian, during her three years at West Point. Christian was raised in a military family and grew up determined to attend West Point, serve in the army, and become Secretary of State. When she was diagnosed with a cancerous mass in her neck during the spring of her senior year of high school, her plan was thrown off track. But Katlin’s tenacity and commitment to service pushed her through rehabilitation. She reapplied and was admitted to the West Point. Now, in her cow year, Katlin is confronting what it means to lead.

“You have the army, you have what the army stands for, and then you have all these values. When I see it on my level, I have a stronger sense of brotherhood and connection with my fellow cadets because of what we’ve been through, but I don’t think we feel a stronger sense of duty or of honor because we’re here. I just see those as buzz words used to elevate people’s egos. When we have special speakers come we have these fancy dinners where we get all dressed up. Sometimes we’ll play bingo: people will make these cards with words that we know they’re going to say in a speech, like ‘duty,’ ‘honor,’ ‘country,’ because those words are used like ‘and,’ ‘but,’ and ‘the.’ They do kind of lose their meaning.” –Katlin Christian

Nathan Glencer is a Trinity senior double majoring in economics and public policy.