Edgar T. Dowling III (Tuner) was recently appointed Riverside Military Academy‘s Battalion Commander for the 2011-12 academic year.
As the highest ranking cadet/student leader, Dowling’s responsibilities include, “training of the battalion on drill days, commanding the battalion at all formations, and working with his staff and school administrators in coordinating activities of the battalion to ensure accordance with all Academy regulations.”
Dowling’s appointment piqued our interest: how does a student rise to such a leadership position? We called Riverside (Gainesville, GA) and they we kind enough help C/LTC Dowling visit with us.
1. How many years have you been at Riverside?
2. When you arrived on campus as a ninth grader, did you see the Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, and say “I want that role; I want to be in that position”?
It wasn’t a role I wanted to pursue. I was blindsided (by the school’s structure) when I arrived. But, I needed it. By the end of my first year, I was a freshman squad leader. I kept setting goals.
I worked to be the type of person that showed interest in the Corps. Truthfully, I didn’t see myself as cadet commander.
3. What example do you work to set for other students?
I want to be someone willing to help you. Once you reach this position you have little contact with cadets. You have to rely on commanders. I like to be in contact. I ask cadets, “How are you doing at RMA? Can I help with any problems you may be having at Riverside?”
Asking questions shows that you care. Success of the mission is built on the welfare of people. I want to make sure that all cadets have what they need to be successful.
4. What’s the most important thing you do day-in and day out as Cadet Lieutenant Colonel?
Affirming the Honor Code is the number one thing I do. By upholding the honor system, I set the standard for the Corps of Cadets.
5. Talk about the faculty member who’s influenced you the most. How did his lessons prepare you for your leadership?
Lieutenant Colonel Jarrard has been the strongest influence on me. He is morally irreproachable. He’s helped me to become a man, to become a stronger person, and to reach out to strangers and build new relationships.
I also learn daily leadership lessons from fellow cadets. I watch to see what techniques work and which don’t, and I implement the ones that do.
6. College Plans?
I’m looking at marine engineering colleges- Maine Maritime, Massachusetts Maritime, and SUNY Maritime.