Understanding The “Why”: Growing In Honorable Living Through The SLDP-H Program
Cadet Xochitl Fernandez grew up in a Hispanic family in Oakley, California, with her four brothers. Her parents, whom she describes as her best friends, were strict and set high expectations for their children. A gifted soccer player, Xochitl was recruited by West Point, and she fell in love with the Academy on a visit. In the spring of her Yearling (sophomore) year, several events conspired to cause additional stress in her life. While home on leave, she felt that she needed to get away on a road-trip with two cousins. When her cousins wanted to go to a bar, under-age Xochitl volunteered to be the designated driver, and altered her ID card to get into the bar. When the bouncer refused to let her in, the implication of what she had done was clear. She immediately contacted her Tactical Officer and turned herself in for an honor violation. After meetings with the Commandant and Superintendent, she was enrolled in the Special Leader Development Program for Honor (SLDP-H) and assigned a mentor. As she goes through the process of honor remediation, she is gaining a better understanding of why the Honor Code is important, and increasing her awareness about the value of trust in various relationships. For Xochitl, SLPD-H has been a developmental process, affording her a better appreciation of what it means to be a West Point Cadet.