“Everyone remembers their first breakdown at the Academy. First semester of plebe year, I accidentally forgot to answer a question on a math test, and so I’d failed. It was the first time I’d ever failed a test in my life. During the next class, my English 101 professor, Major Erin Hadlock, gave us 55 minutes to answer a surprise in-class essay. I stared at the computer screen and couldn’t think of a thing. I started crying right there in the middle of class. Somehow, the page filled with an answer, and I turned in my paper.
But after class, MAJ Hadlock pulled me aside and said, ‘Talk to me. Whatever you need, just get it off your chest.’ This professor, she was amazing. She was an Apache pilot. Super fit, beautiful. She was so cool and had a great personality and I remember she really challenged my perception of what a woman in the military could be. She hugged me and let me cry, woman to woman, not officer to plebe. She looked at me and said, ‘I admire everything you do. You're kick ass and you're going to rock this place.’ I can’t tell you how cool that was for me.
At West Point, you have moments that are hard, of course. But there are people there to catch you, to lift you up and keep you moving. To this day, MAJ Hadlock keeps tabs on me. She let me know I was special and loved and part of this huge family. That is what West Point and the Army is all about.” Cadet Bailey Bowlin, Class of 2018. #cadetsofwestpoint