By Lesley MaceyakJuly 6, 2016
Her lofty career aspirations were realized when she was 8 years old and stepped foot inside the cockpit of a Black Hawk, the Army's primary medium-lift utility transport and air assault aircraft.
"I like to fly," said Kassidy. "It would really be cool to be up front and in control of something with all that power. It's awesome just thinking about it."
Her family -- which includes two step-brothers and a younger sister -- moved to Fort Lee a year ago from Hawaii. She said it was hard leaving her friends behind, but she is adjusting like military kids usually do.
Kassidy's family has a long Army lineage. Her great-grandfather served in World War II. Her grandfather fought in Vietnam, and her uncle is an Army tanker. Her step-dad is Staff Sgt. Raymond Patterson, an instructor at the Transportation School.
If she attends the academy, Kassidy would be the first female in her family to do so, and views it as a challenge she would be proud to conquer.
"You can do anything when you set your mind to it," she asserted. "Don't listen to other people who want to stop you from doing what you believe in."
She is already preparing for the Army by staying physically fit and maintaining her straight-A track record as a student. She runs to stay active, and completed her first 5K (Run for the Fallen) in June. She also enjoys volleyball and gymnastics.
In her free time, Kassidy plays the ukulele, draws bubble letters, and hangs out with her siblings.
Betsy Patterson, Kassidy's mom, said she's rooting for her daughter but also struggles with the implications of the decision.
"As a military wife, I know what it's like for (troops) to go down-range," she said. "Yes, it is scary to think my daughter is going and wants to do it, but that is her dream.
"There's a commercial we see on TV, and it includes the message, 'it is hard for my daughter to go in the military, but at least I know she is the one protecting me.' It would be a great honor for her to join the Army, and I know she would be awesome in whatever she does. When she puts her mind to it, she is going to do it."
Patterson began to tear up as she described Kassidy's birth. "She started out as a premature baby and came to this world ready to get going. She fought her way past it and has been a fighter ever since, with everything."
Recently, Kassidy met her first Army general -- Brig. Gen. Michel Russell Sr., Chief of Transportation. During their chat, he mentioned his son's trip to West Point and explained the steps she will need to take.
"He told me he looks forward to seeing me at the graduation; he will be there," said Kassidy.
She will be attending eighth grade in the fall at N.B. Clements Junior High School, Prince George County.