Lessons in Leadership

At Loyola University Maryland, “Strong Truths Well Lived” Meet “Army Strong”

Major Sean Gallagher, Loyola University Maryland

Major Sean Gallagher (Loyola University Maryland)

Our job is to develop leaders for our nation’s army. That is the whole purpose of the military science department at Loyola University Maryland — to take educated young men and women and make them leaders for our soldiers.

I attended high school at Christian Brothers Academy in New Jersey, but I spent the rest of my adult education at public state universities. I would say that the difference here at Loyola is the fact that the students pull from that “whole person” education, which is the foundation laid out by the Jesuits and St. Ignatius Loyola. More important, our students have grounding in ethics and theology that will help and aid them in their decision-making as they move on in life.

That is not to say that students at public universities aren’t capable of this, but it is not as interwoven into their curriculum as it is here at Loyola. And I think that’s an added benefit because we talk about building leaders of character, commitment, and competence for our nation. Character starts developing at home when you’re raised by your family and continues through your faith and education. I, as an instructor, can only polish and add to what has already been put down. But having the parallel efforts of the curriculum, faculty and administration here at Loyola only serve to enhance our cadets in their development toward being values-based leaders.

At the end of the day, when we produce a second lieutenant, [he or she is] going to be trusted, not only with [others’] lives, but with the millions of dollars of government equipment and immense responsibility.

A second lieutenant commissioned from the Greyhound Battalion can be deployed in a place like Iraq or Afghanistan within a year, as some of our recent graduates have experienced. They will be in charge of a whole valley full of villages with their own local populations. This is an incredible responsibility for a young man or woman, 23–24 years of age, to be handling.

That is why it is important for them to take everything seriously, not only here, but continuing forward. And that’s really just the beginning. Leadership excellence for the nation starts in the Greyhound Battalion, where “Strong Truths Well Lived” meet “Army Strong.”

We look to develop leaders of character, commitment and competence for the United States Army, who will lead, learn, serve and win in a complex and changing world.

Major Sean Gallagher is department chair and professor of military science courses at Loyola University Maryland.

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