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Campaign Spotlights

Cadet Maria Figueroa

Think of successful leaders in the world and you’ll notice many things they all have in common – confidence, expertise and training, strong leadership and character. Cadet Maria Figueroa knew that in order to excel in the military she needed those qualities, and she set out on a journey to develop them in herself.

Cadet Figueroa hails from Tacoma, Washington. She was a part of an ROTC program at a four-year-college in her home state when she realized a change was needed in order for her to reach her goals. With an aspiration to become a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), Cadet Figueroa realized she required more experience and training. Through researching ROTC programs at other schools, she was intrigued by the Army’s Early Commissioning Program and the opportunities that would be offered to her through it.

“While researching the Early Commissioning Program, Georgia Military College quickly popped up on my radar. I had always wanted to live in the south. I also thought being immersed in a military college would give me the preparation I really needed, so I knew GMC would be a perfect fit,” noted Cadet Figueroa.

So her GMC journey began, and she has excelled in every opportunity awarded to her. As a plebe, Cadet Figueroa was promoted to Sergeant First Class and was subsequently named Plebe Trainer coming out of her Plebe Quarter. This year, she serves as the S1 for ROTC and is also the S1 on the Regimental Staff for the Corps of Cadets. Figueroa has participated in Color Guard and has served as Company Commander as well.

“Maria is a remarkable young woman. I have been extremely impressed by her determination to succeed, commitment to excellence, and her positive can-do attitude. During her time at GMC Maria has demonstrated unparalleled dedication to serve our nation and her exceptional leadership abilities, setting her apart from her peers. She consistently excels on any given task in her journey to earn a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army,” shared LTC Robel Ramirez, Deputy Commandant for the GMC Corps of Cadets.

Cadet Figueroa’s journey to becoming a confident leader is one that inspires. Much patience was required of her as she decided to leave her school in Washington state and move across the country to attend GMC, but her determination and grit has paid off.

“My whole experience at GMC has been transformative. I was a different person before coming to GMC. I have already completed 5 years in the military, but prior to attending GMC, I hadn’t had the leadership experiences that I have been offered here. I am very grateful for the mentoring I have received from the cadre. I don’t have family close by and I have turned to the ROTC cadre to help me when I need them. My family always tells me they are proud of how much I have grown. Some days are hard, but this is what I came here for,” stated Cadet Figueroa.

While Cadet Figueroa has certainly developed her leadership abilities in the Corps, she has also developed true confidence in herself. “Before coming to GMC, I was doubting myself and my abilities to be a leader. I’m so proud of the leadership skills I have developed throughout my time in the Corps, thanks to the mentoring offered to me. Now when I look back, I ask, how could I have ever doubted myself?”

Cadet Figueroa is in her second year in the GMC Corps of Cadets and will commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army this spring. Her sights are now set on a new goal, continuing her education at a four-year institution, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science, and competing for active duty in the military. She is considering a list of schools, with a dream to attend Georgetown University.

If you’d like to support the Corps of Cadets College Cadet Endowed Scholarship and their work to equip the next generation of leaders, please donate here. 

“My whole experience at GMC has been transformative. I was a different person before coming to GMC. I have already completed 5 years in the military, but prior to attending GMC, I hadn’t had the leadership experiences that I have been offered here. I am very grateful for the mentoring I have received from the cadre. I don’t have family close by and I have turned to the ROTC cadre to help me when I need them. My family always tells me they are proud of how much I have grown. Some days are hard, but this is what I came here for,” stated Cadet Figueroa.