Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Brigade Commander Prepared to Lead

From left, Asst. Midshipman Food Service Officer Lt. Dan Eddy, Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Jeffrey L. Fowler, Brigade Commander Midn. 1⁄C Samuel Sang-Tae Kim, and Commandant of Midshipmen Capt. Matthew Klunder cut the ribbon during the reopening ceremony of King Hall on Aug. 18. USNA photo by MCSA Patrick Green.
The main role of the Brigade Commander is to serve as the link between the Brigade of Midshipmen and Naval Academy leadership. Midn. 1⁄C Samuel Sang-Tae Kim, Brigade Commander for fall semester, is prepared to step into that role.

''My main job is basically just to be there for the Midshipmen,'' said Kim.

Kim was nominated for the position by his Company Officer. More than 60 nominees went through intensive interviews with their Senior Enlisted Leaders, Company Officers, and Battalion Officers, and the original slate was narrowed to 45 candidates. Those Midshipmen then faced an interview with all six Battalion Officers and the Deputy Commandant, before the final selection was made.

''It’s been a blessing. I was very nervous at first, but I’m actually kind of excited,'' said Kim. ''I’m excited because deep down inside I really do want to make change, and the times when I’m happiest are when other people are happy.''

As Brigade Commander, Kim must work with the Brigade Staff on a regular basis, as well as a meeting with the Commandant of Midshipmen once a week. Along with those duties, he is also maintaining a full schedule with classes.

''The most important thing that [the Brigade Staff] can do, is to be present and positive,'' Kim said.

Kim, a 22-year-old mechanical engineering major, is originally from Springfield, Mo. After graduation, he hopes to become a Surface Warfare Officer, and to have his first duty station to be on the West Coast or in Japan. From there, Kim is keeping his options open.

''If the Navy’s for me, I want to stay in as long as I can,'' said Kim.

Lifetime career or not, Kim is just glad to be a part of the Academy.

''I feel that this place is what we make of it, and the opportunities they present are second to none,'' said Kim.