First Impressions Count: Overcoming Personal Adversity at West Point
Bridget Ryan was recruited to play basketball and came to West Point not knowing what to expect. She was a bit intimidated by the prospect of military service, but after visiting the Academy, she decided that it was the right place for her because it appealed to her extremely competitive nature. As a First Class Cadet, she received the prestigious Henry O. Flipper Award, which recognizes the graduating cadet who demonstrates the highest qualities of leadership, self-discipline, and perseverance in the face of unusual difficulties. She excelled in all areas of Cadet development despite having a stutter, overcoming a reluctance to speak in public and rising to the top 5% of her class as an Economics major.
In this interview, she discusses her transition from civilian to military life, the importance of athletics in leadership development, and dealing with the daily rigors of the Cadet experience.