OTF Soldier Story for February 2, 2009 - Capt. Jennifer Cave
Current Unit: 84th Training Command (Leadership Training)
Current Position: Student, ROTC instructor
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Lynchburg, Va.
Hometown: Chillicothe, Ohio
Years of Service: 8
Fair warning to anyone who goes up against Capt. Jennifer Cave on the court or in court: she doesn't put up with excuses. She holds herself and others to the highest standards no matter the context. At 17, she set her sights on the noblest profession she could imagine — being a Soldier — and earned a spot at the U.S. Military Academy. As an Army volleyball player, she powered through tough practices and close games, setting records during her four years at West Point. She now channels that tenacity into her pursuit of a law degree, hitting the books as hard as she once spiked the ball across the net.
Capt. Cave's passion for the law originated during her deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a tour of duty for which she volunteered. For a large portion of the time she spent in Taji, Iraq, Capt. Cave commanded a company of approximately 300 Soldiers, serving as judge and jury when any of those Soldiers stepped out of line. She found herself drawn to the rule and order of the law, and developed a deep appreciation for helping settle disputes through justice.
The position of company commander which she assumed about six months into her deployment was a new role for the then 26-year-old Capt. Cave. With the title came a variety of new responsibilities, but there was one duty in particular which she gave highest priority: safely bringing home her Soldiers. For her steadfast leadership and overall dedication through the year-long tour, she was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
Capt. Cave now lives in Lynchburg, Va., where she is in her third year at Liberty University School of Law. She continues to serve with the Army Reserve and is currently an Assistant Professor of Military Science for the ROTC department at Liberty. She will graduate in May and plans to continue her work as an ROTC instructor while she prepares to take the bar exam.