COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (June 19, 2012) -- At 14 years old, Cadet Kaylee Marie Radzyminski visited military members during a high school trip to Florida and asked them what they missed most during their deployments. After their families, their second response was usually entertainment. That's when Radzyminski decided to start Tunes 4 the Troops, an organization that began with Radzyminski and her friends sending their personal CDs to deployed Soldiers. Tunes 4 the Troops has now shipped more than 1.2 million CDs and DVDs to Soldiers serving overseas and continues to grow. Her leadership with this organization was one attribute that Glamour magazine recognized when they recently named Radzyminski as one of the top ten college women of 2012.
Radzyminski, who is currently attending college on an ROTC scholarship at Tennessee Tech University and majoring in geographic information systems, said she has a special place in her heart for those who serve their country and has always dreamt of being in the military herself.
"I've always wanted to join the military because I looked up to my grandfather who was an officer in the Marines. I admired his values, how he treated people and the person he was," she said.
Radzyminski originally wanted to attend the Naval Academy but heard back from Tennessee Tech's ROTC program first and is glad she made the decision to join ROTC and wouldn't change it for anything.
"You learn things you can't learn in the classroom or the civilian world in Army ROTC," Radzyminski said. "ROTC has helped develop me as a person and has allowed me to mature and learn different leadership styles."
She also says that ROTC helps her with time management, turning projects in on time and being punctual and respectful.
All of these things helped contribute to Radzyminski's recognition in Glamour magazine. The publication considered leadership, grade point average, community involvement and extra-curricular activities as part of the nomination process -- all traits and achievements that Radzyminski credits to her experience as an ROTC cadet.
"Honestly, I am really excited and honored for this recognition -- there are so many people out there doing wonderful things for different causes, big and small, but we're all making a difference."
Her future is bright and busy. Radzyminski heads to Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in June then heads to Fort Campbell for a Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT) internship in military intelligence before starting her senior year of college.
Radzyminski's future goals include helping other women in the military by providing support and guidance and hopefully one day becoming the first female U.S. Secretary of Defense.
"I have no intention of leaving the Army anytime soon; I intend to make a career out of it. I don't know what I would do if I wasn't in the military."