CDT Jessica Maddox grew up as an Army brat, and when she was in tenth grade she swore she would never join the military because of some of the difficulties she experienced. After studying at UC Santa Cruz, she decided to drop out of college. Motivated by a sense of duty, she enlisted in the Army. She studied Pashto stationed at the Defense Language Institute before receiving an appointment to the US Military Academy. At West Point, she was on the Women’s Rugby team, the Climbing team, and her company’s Sandhurst team. She majored in Defense and Strategic Studies, and branched Infantry. She is looking forward to her assignment in the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
In this interview, CDT Maddox talks about her experiences as a cadet. She maintains that an important part of being a cadet is taking the time to enjoy the company of fellow cadets while at the Academy. During her Cow (Junior) year, Maddox did CTLT with an infantry platoon in Hawaii, and appreciated the effort it took to lead soldiers. She served as the Regimental Commander during Phase One of Cadet Basic Training, where she became aware of the importance of showing empathy as a leader, and began making conscious efforts to do so. During the academic year, Maddox served as the 2nd Regimental Commander. Her efforts were focused on taking ownership of all aspects of the culture within the regiment, especially the negative. Maddox describes West Point as a family that you cannot get rid of, nor would you want to. She highlights the relationships she’s built here, noting that that one could never get through West Point alone. One of her aspirations is to come back and teach in the Department of Physical Education.