By Brandon OConnorJuly 8, 2019
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- Class of 2020 Cadet Alex Albright's time at the U.S. Military Academy didn't start the way he expected.
Originally recruited to play on the baseball team, he was cut only a month into his first year at the academy following a coaching change. He then faced a decision, transfer to somewhere he could play baseball or stay at West Point and find a way to define himself as something other than an athlete.
"I started learning the power of being with a group and I started defining myself by the success of others," Albright said of why he decided to stay. "I grew so fond of that, that I could come in and make a difference for others and make sure they have everything they need to succeed. I thought West Point was 100 percent the best place to do it."
This summer, Albright will have his biggest chance yet to impact his fellow cadets as the commander of Cadet Basic Training I. Starting with Reception Day, Albright and his staff will lead training for the first three weeks of CBT.
Including his staff and the more than 1,200 new cadets, Albright will be in charge of about 1,500 people.
"My job this summer is to oversee all the training that happens during Cadet Basic Training," Albright said. "There are multiple different companies who will all be doing different lanes and training events. My job, with the help of my staff, is to ensure that those individual companies know where to be, know what they're doing and have everything they need to succeed."
Summer leadership positions serve as on the job interviews and the cadet leadership for the academic year will be chosen from among the Firsties (Seniors) tasked with leading summer training.
Albright said he decided to pursue a leadership position in order to challenge himself and continue to grow as a leader.
"I knew if I was able to get in a position like this my leadership style would be under a microscope from so many different experiences," Albright said. "The new incoming commandant, I get to talk to him. The new incoming brigade tactical officer, I get to work with him and he gets to provide me feedback on how the regiment is executing. I get to work directly through them and learn from so many different people."
In the lead-up to CBT, Albright and his staff worked to make sure they were familiar with every lane new cadets will be training on throughout the summer, including how to get the new cadets there and how to mitigate risks.
His goal over the three weeks he is in charge is to build a sense of camaraderie among the new cadets who make up the Class of 2023.
"Everything we try to consider and make happen will directly affect an individual who is coming into West Point with the idea and same values we have as we graduate," Albright said. "They want to be leaders of character, they want to be officers in the Army and they want to lead Soldiers."