The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is a tough row to hoe but 2016 Bryan High School graduates Alex Dolan and Adam Hug came home in June as second lieutenants in the United States Army. They stopped by The Bryan Times’ office Monday afternoon to talk about the experience.
Hug majored in math sciences with a minor in statistics and Dolan majored in American politics with a minor in grand strategy.
“In high school, I was really involved with extracurriculars,” Hug said. “Cross country, track, swimming, theater with summer plays and spring musicals, as well as academics. At West Point, I really learned about who I was as a person because I had to face failure. I never did that in high school. They forced us to. It’s all about being bigger than yourself, developing leadership, helping others and standing up for what’s right.
“The biggest challenge was time management,” Hug said. “It was so demanding in so many areas — academics, sports (everyone had to play a sport), drill and ceremony, briefings and military training. You really have to find the right balance for work, social and spiritual life and maintain that.”
Dolan reached the same conclusion by other means.
“Character matters, especially now more and more in society, and people have to stand up for what’s right,” he said.
“I was really competitive in high school, out to win at whatever I did,” Dolan said. “Ironically, West Point is a hyper-competitive environment but it made me learn to focus on adding value and making things better. Nobody wants to be around competitive types and you can’t just beat everybody to your left and your right. You have to contribute and make things better. I’m glad I made that transition.
“We did a lot of weird stuff in military training, learning to deal with challenges, pressure and time constraints,” Dolan said. “It was all about staying poised in really nasty situations. Lots of moral and ethical training with an extra grip. It was more about being a good human being than a good officer because nobody’s in the Army forever.”
Hug’s next assignment is Fort Rucker, Alabama, for helicopter flight school. “I’m hoping for Black Hawks or Apaches but I won’t know until after I finish the first phase of training.”
Dolan’s next assignment is Fort Benning, Georgia, for the Armor Basic Officer Leaders course, Airborne and Ranger schools. After that he will be assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, Alabama.