Getting Your Headspace And Timing Right: Seizing Opportunities At West Point And In The Army

Jacob Absalon


Jake Absalon came to West Point from Lincoln, Nebraska. Born to white mother and black father, he grew up in a predominantly white family, but attended a very diverse high school before entering West Point with the Class of 2007. As a cadet, Jake participated in the Cadet Gospel Choir and a number of other club activities. He selected Armor Branch and chose an assignment to a light reconnaissance unit at a time of very high-tempo deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He ended up deploying to Afghanistan as a platoon leader, and then again as a captain while an aide to a general officer. In 2017, after earning an MA in sociology from the University of Nebraska, he returned to West Point to teach in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. In this interview Jake talks about the various times he struggled with his own identity, as well as how others have viewed him. He also explains the ways that his various extracurricular experiences shaped him as a cadet and as a faculty member. The interview concludes with his thoughts about what he takes away from his time as an instructor, and what West Point means to him.


name Jacob Absalon
institution USMA
graduation year 2007
service Armor
unit 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry, 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry Division; 1st Cavalry Division; C Company & HHC 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment
specialty Diversity and Inclusion Studies, West Point
service dates 2007