Cadet Sage Brooks, North Carolina State University, marched his platoon to the Rappel Tower to take on their next challenge at Cadet Summer Training. As they arrived, a lieutenant mentioned to them that a brigadier general was waiting for them in front of the tower and wanted to give a few words of advice.
“The lieutenant mentioned there was a one-star up there, and to be respectful and make sure to salute her,” said Brooks. “I was thinking in my head – alright, all the customs and courtesies. And then I saw my step dad’s truck and was like ‘oh, my stepdad’s here, I wonder how he made his way into this event, maybe to take pictures. Then I put it together…”
Once he took his seat in the bleachers, a familiar face appeared: his mother.
Brig. Gen. Daphne Davis visited the Rappel Tower that day to watch her son and his teammates take on the 64ft. Rappel Tower, something that she recalls doing herself as a Cadet years ago. The University of Kentucky alum returned to Advanced Camp to see her son walking, and rappelling, in her footsteps.
After their initial brief, Cadets began climbing the stairs up the 64ft. Rappel Tower, where Davis greeted each Cadet that made it to the top and ensured they would be okay.
“A highlight of my day today was to see the Cadets that went over that side of the wall that were terrified and they faced their fears and came back to the tower smiling and beaming with pride,” said Davis.
Brooks made his way to the top and his mother waited in excitement for him. He hooked to the side of the tower as Davis proudly watched her son rappel down.
Three successful rappels later, Cadets gathered in the bleachers for a motivational talk with Davis. In her speech, she mentioned an acronym that they should remember and carry on as a leader: L.O.V.E.
L – Leadership
O – Ownership
V – Vivaciously in Spirit
E – Eye on the Prize
With these words, Davis mentioned they are important points to remember when taking charge, and brought them a little L.O.V.E. to bring back to their universities.