As the Greystone idea evolved into a program capable of taking on the road to the academies, one of the stops I made while visiting the academies was to visit the Commandant. Their kindness and generosity was responsible for much of the professional development side of the Greystone program. Thanks to those officers, I was afforded access to Leadership and Law courses and materials as well as access to honor code/concept information. I was given permission to talk with officers who taught Ethics and Character courses. And ultimately, I was afforded the chance to talk about “military” development – in particular, whether or not Greystone should embrace a lifestyle of uniforms, drill and parades for our students. After all, Schreiner University was at one time a military school with an Army ROTC program on campus. The net result of my conversations indicated that our students would be best served if Greystone focused on those programs that would directly benefit them as candidates seeking to qualify for an appointment – and to leave the uniforms, drill and parades to the academies who will quickly teach them the “Academy” way! However, now with our affiliation with Army ROTC through the University of Texas at San Antonio, Greystone students will get to experience life with uniforms and drills on a weekly basis, but keep their focus on academics.
Greystone was originally created without uniforms or drill or parades, however, the words of those officers still resounded in my head. The “Academy” way meant something to me because I sought to instill in my students only that which is supported by the academies and not something that is applicable only to Greystone. Everything we do is directly applicable or meaningful to what is happening at the academies or in the Fleet or Field. This is as it should be because the Greystone experience is secondary to the academy experience. What is taught there – the rich traditions and customs represent what the military is and will be because the academies and their cadets and midshipmen represent the dye that sets the color for the cloth that is worn by the officer corps. By getting our students ready – as best we can – it is then the job of the academy to mold these exceptional young men and women into the officers who will become the future leaders of our military. I am satisfied playing a small supporting role in the development of our military leaders of tomorrow – so long as it is performed at the highest level possible to afford our Greystone students with every advantage needed to excel once they arrive at the academy.
Greystone completely supports the “Academy” way because it is the only way for our students to maximize their year of academy prep while they evolve into academy trained and educated leaders of tomorrow.