Female Platoon Breaking Records
Serena Williams once said, “The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up.” The Female Platoon at Thunderbird Challenge Program is doing just that. Currently, the female platoon is on pace to have one of the highest retention rates at Thunderbird Challenge Program, sitting at 95%. Traci Johnson, Commandant of Cadets credits a lot of their success to the Team Leaders, “They have done an phenomenal job of teaching these Cadets to learn not to complain about situations that have occurred; like, being away from home learning to live with new people, getting motivation to PT, overcoming obstacles, and learning from mistakes. They have learned how to be mentally tough and prepared through ‘victory thinking’ and put away the ‘I give up thinking’.”
When asked about her platoon, Cadet Warren said, “When we put our minds to do something, or have the want to and motivation to accomplish something as a team, we will carry it out to our full potential.” Backing up this statement is Team Leader Doolittle, who says the 1st Platoon “works as a team during billet maintenance and it shows, they are undefeated in holding the barracks’ banner on their guidon.” Doolittle can often be heard telling the platoon “they don’t have to be great to start, they have to start to be great.”
The success of 1st Platoon is also reflected in the classroom. Lead Educator, Sherri Vermeer, who believes “one common ground that everyone at TCP has is the focus on building the self esteem in our cadet corp so that their dreams become a vision and that vision becomes a reality.” She has a quote that sticks out in her mind when she thinks of 1st Platoon, “Little girls with dreams become women with vision.”
With a little more than half way to go in the Cycle, the female platoon is continuing to show their growth while learning how to reach their maximum potential. They have been pushed mentally, physically, emotionally, and they continue to keep knocking down their own walls to overcome whatever obstacles they may face.