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The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

Meet Santa Rosa Academy’s CACC Commanding Officer!

Natalie Brown
CACC Commanding Officer Cardinal Nord standing in full uniform in front of Santa Rosa Academy’s baseball field.

To watch over the school and take leadership over a rigorous program like the California Cadet Corps is a tough job. What makes it interesting? A sophomore is in charge – Hannah “Cardinal” Nord is this year’s Commanding Officer and has only been a part of the program for one and a half years.

Influenced and taught by Liana Volasco, former captain who has since graduated, Nord has already left a lasting impression on Santa Rosa’s CACC program. Some recruits may find their leadership disposition to be “bossy,” but someone in this position would need to be. Behind their strict nature, Nord is a genuine, loyal character who doesn’t hesitate to help out when they’re needed. Tackling Cadets as well as school and extracurriculars, including being the brand-new Mystery Club’s co-founder, seems like an exhausting job. Nord, however, perseveres! So, what’s in a job like theirs?

Nord explains why they continue on this journey. They address, “I think the ultimate purpose is to teach leadership and teamwork, and just a little bit of the military aspects, because kids now, they don’t really know how to be a leader, they don’t know how to speak in front of people, they don’t know organization stuff like that. All that, you learn that in the Cadet corps,” Nord expresses after addressing that being a Commanding Officer is a lot like teaching and taking care of those in the program, as well as the whole school.

To some, holding this position for a long time seems like a burden; but not for Nord.

“It’s been a great time,” Nord advocates, “I’ve learned so much about the military, drill, all the ranks and stuff, leadership; I’m in charge of the whole school’s program, I didn’t know I’d get here.”

Nord didn’t just become Commanding Officer immediately after joining Cadets, just like how someone wouldn’t become team captain as soon as they join a sports team. With a responsibility like theirs, learning takes time. In a piece of advice for new recruits, Nord claims that “rank isn’t everything.” It will turn out better for these students if they take the time to fully understand what they are learning. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way!

Nord asserts that if recruits only pay attention to ranking and only think about promotion, they will not learn. “Kids now, they don’t really know how to be a leader,” They elaborate, “they don’t know how to speak in front of people, they don’t know organization… All that, you learn that in the Cadet corps.”

With such a special experience Nord has had in the program, one would wonder how they got to where they are today. The commanding officer was quick to share their story.

They recall, “First and foremost, I made my way through the ranks. I had to get a bunch of promotions and I worked really hard,” Nord claims, “I went to Officer Candidate school to go get up to Second Lieutenant, which is where I am now, and because I’m one of the highest in the program at the moment, they put me in the Commanding Officer role.”

Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, Nord’s adventure was not smooth sailing. When asked if they’ve ever felt unworthy of their position, Nord replied affirmatively.

Immediately, Nord answers, “Yes. I felt like it was too easy for me to get up to the rank that I am, because usually the Officer Candidates program is maybe a week, two weeks; my program was two days. So I feel like I had it easier than most and I kind of feel unworthy about it,” Nord admits, although they acknowledge that they’ve learned a lot.

Over time, they realized that your peers are there to help you; be it your classmates, sports team, or coworkers, they aren’t there to make you feel inferior. Those people want you to feel welcome, and they want you to feel like you shouldn’t bring yourself down for mistakes or imperfections.

“When I first joined, there were a lot of people that I looked up to, like higher ranks, as I said I used to be one of those kids and I was like, really terrified of them, was scared.” Nord replies, reminiscing, “But as I made my way through it, and I learned that they’re not all that scary, they’re just here to teach me and help me out.”

The commanding officer comes forth with a final message to students from Santa Rosa Academy. Take the time and put effort into what you do, and the results will amaze you. With a few parting words, Nord enthuses, “Join the Cadet Corps.”

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About the Contributor
Natalie Brown, Staff Writer
Natalie Brown, is a ninth grade student at Santa Rosa Academy. She is a staff member of The Lasso and is amazing at digital art and physical art. She loves to write about anything she is interested in. She is also a kind and outstanding writer. Some of her interests include bugs and cats. She also has a cat named Boof -- Boof is a fat black cat and she is very loud, very needy, loves to cuddle her owner, and cry out when she is hungry. Natalie is into the paranormal and even has a club dedicated to the super natural/paranormal. Her club is called the Mystery Club which is very new, so show kindness and support!
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    melanieNov 14, 2023 at 4:37 pm

    i like it