George Washington University Leadership Conference

This past October, several ambitious Midshipmen of our unit were given the opportunity
to hone in on their critical thinking skills and learn from some of our nation’s finest men
and women at George Washington University’s “Capital Leadership Conference”,
hosted by GWU NROTC’s Capital Battalion in Washington, D.C. MIDN 1/C Song, 2/C
Price, 2/C Czajkowski, 3/C McKay, 3/C O’Donnell, and 3/C Vaughters were
accompanied by Ensign Benieowski, and heard briefs on topics such as international
security assistance, interventionism, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and leadership
ethics as part of the conference’s focus on “Military Ethics: Past, Present, and Future”.
Throughout the event, our Midshipmen met with others from around the country, spoke
with senior-ranking military servicemen and women, and even managed to schedule PT
and exploration of the city into their liberty time. The conference concluded with a
strategic crisis simulation — a war game in which Midshipmen were divided into two
teams and were tasked with navigating a hypothetical, although highly topical, conflict
between the United States and China in the South China Sea, where China, or “Red
Country”, as it was called, escalated the tensions caused by the continued militarization
of their artificially-constructed islands. Here, teamwork and decisiveness played vital
roles in the success or failure of each of the teams, and our Midshipmen were allowed
unique opportunities to test their battle strategies, to prioritize their country’s policies,
and to develop their diplomatic skills in a hyper-realistic situation. All in all, these
Midshipmen gained important advice and new thoughts on age-old principles and ethics
of leadership, all of which contributed greatly to their personal and professional
development as rising Junior Officers in our Navy and Marine Corps. They would highly
recommend this conference and any others which provide similar experiences for any
future MIDN who wishes to grow more deeply in their own leadership development.

By MIDN 3/C Zachary McKay


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