Posts

Life After NMMI

By Cadet Elyssa Chino
My plans after New Mexico Military School are to transfer to another military school. Before NMMI, I never thought I would develop any interest in the military. I came from a military family, my dad, uncles, and grandfather all served in the USMC. Growing up I decided that military life was not for me, and I would contribute to the world in another way. However, upon graduating from NMMI, I fell in love with the military lifestyle. I am still well aware it is not for everyone. Not many people agree with the structured, rigid, and routine life but the challenge of it had me hooked. I appreciated how much stronger and capable I became, both mentally and physically. Of course, I had my days I did not want to wake up at 0600 to conduct morning Physical Training or conduct rifle drill for an hour in the hot sun. Not everyday was glamorous and totally at my disposal, but as I stated before, the accomplished feeling well was worth it at the end of every day. My days where busy, long, productive, and fulfilling. I desired to continue this military school journey. I came back to NMMI for junior college, which I will be graduating from in a couple months. Now my sights are set on The Citadel the Military College of the South. Once I attain my bachelor’s in political science, I plan to commission into the US Marine Corp as a 2nd Lieutenant. My biggest aspiration in life is to become an attorney and represent mistreated families in destitute countries. To me, the military makes perfect sense as it would fully equip me with the tactical and soft military skills necessary to care for myself, especially in high risk countries. Not only will it help strengthen my independence, but it will expand my knowledge of the world beyond my hometown, financially support me through law school, provide me with networking opportunities and give me new leadership experiences. Fortunately, NMMI has already provided me with these benefits during the time I have been here. I appreciate NMMI for sparking my interest and opening the door to the biggest plans of my life.
 

Diversity at NMMI

by Cadet MAJ Rojas, 3rd Squadron Executive Officer

I come from Cabo San Lucas, México. That is a very touristic place so I’ve been to bilingual schools my whole life. I’ve been interacting with different people from diverse races, religions and ethnicities. However, things changed when I came here. There is a lot more diversity here than I ever thought I’d be around. I get to see plenty of people from all over the world on a daily basis. I’ve had classes with people from Germany, China, Korea, several African countries, Puerto Rico, and many more places.
Honestly, it’s fun; learning some of their languages, their slang and their culture only results in me wanting to visit all of these places some day. The idea of having friends all over the world is fascinating to me. When you make friends with people from different places you know that you’ll have a place to stay if you ever choose to visit these different places, or at least people to see.
NMMI has taught me that everyone is different, everyone is educated differently and it is possible for all these people to live together teaching each other different values and customs. Diversity is one of the great things in life that we have to experience in order to value it the way it deserves to be valued. This place is the origin of friendships that will extend to great distances and last a lifetime.

The Balance at NMMI

By Cadet Aaron Donkor–from Germany
Being an athlete here at NMMI, one is asked to do more than being in a normal Junior College. Not only will you get held to a standard in Academics and Athletics but also in the Corps of Cadets. This brings another segment you have to balance somehow. Due to this, I believe when I am moving on to the next school, finding a balance between “just” my academics and being an athlete it will be easier due to the high pace here at New Mexico Military Institute.
Learning to find balance goes hand in hand with time management; I believe I’ve improved that skill tremendously. I realized when I went home that I got more done in less time. Furthermore, I improved the skill of patience. I am more able to endure a short time feeling uneasy in order to reach a set goal. All things in life, are going to have parts one is struggling with or does not like. But to overcome challenges and building the habit of success, there is no better place than here at New Mexico Military Institute.
When you picture your dream job, whatever that might be, there are naturally going to be some aspect you have to overcome in order to enjoy the part of the job which are most pleasing for you. Well, I think I developed that skill not to give up and follow through on stuff in order to do the things I love and enjoy.
Recently here at New Mexico Military Institute, it was Homecoming, which brought many alumni back to share their experience. This opened my eyes again, that people really appreciate their experience at New Mexico Military Institute after they are gone. These alumni are living a better life now, due to their experience at New Mexico Military Institution.

How I Manage My Time at NMMI

By Cadet Marco Varela

It all starts with a mentality. There is little time to stand around and decide what to do next, there is always something to do and it pays to know what it is. NMMI sets you up for success by issuing a planner to write down everything your homework and tasks. However, there are alternatives. I personally prefer Google Calendar because it syncs across any device that I log onto, it sends me reminders, and it gives me a visual representation from which I can create a plan.
When I start the day, I maintain a routine of showering and grooming, cleaning my room, and reviewing my plan for the day. This includes checking my calendar, my email, and any post-it notes on my desk. It is crucial to begin with a direction in mind of how I want to run the day. By knowing due dates and the tasks of the day I know what to focus my valuable free time on. It is important to address that even with a plan and efficiently utilizing free time, some tasks may require even more time to accomplish. For example, my senior year of high school at NMMI I had a portion of my capstone paper, which determines of you graduate, due in the morning. It was 2200 and all I had was my works cited. I decided to go to bed and wake up at 0230 considering that I work better in the “morning.” Fortunately, I did well on that paper and graduated as Salutatorian, but my point is that even with an organized method there is still always room for improvement. Furthermore, sacrifices are necessary to succeed.
NMMI will test your abilities in multiple occasions. It will quite a determined attitude to accomplish tasks successfully. Being organized in the planning of my time helps me be successful and I believe it is worth trying for any cadet.

Why I Came to NMMI–And Why I've Stayed

By Cadet Diego Salido
One of the most repetitive questions I have been asked as a cadet is “Why are you at NMMI?”
Most people assume that I am a troublemaker and my parents sent me here to fix me, which is something that you will not find very often here at the Institute. Most of the people come here because of their own choice and because they are looking for a challenge. In my case, I came here following my brother’s example and his advice. He told me that it was the best choice I could make and that I would not regret it. I had to think about it for more than a year, and finally I decided that I wanted to accept the challenge. After my first year, the question became “Why did you stay” and the answer is really simple: I stayed because of the people–the family I found here, and the opportunity to be someone better. I do not regret a single thing since I got here and I have enjoyed my ride. I still have a year left until I graduate and I know that I will miss everything and everyone when I leave.
Salido

How NMMI Changed My Life

By: Cadet Nick Valentine
When I first stepped on post, I knew I was entering one of the most developmental chapters of my life yet. I was 16 years old, entering my junior year of high school, and to be honest I did not have a strong grasp of what I was doing at New Mexico Military Institute. The only real reason why I came was to better prepare myself for an appointment to one of the Service Academies, but I did not know how I was going to do that once I stepped into the cadet uniform.
There was a specific point in my time at the Institute when I realized my true purpose at NMMI, but it was long after my first steps as a Recruit at Training. It was when I looked in the mirror a few minutes before my high school graduation, dressed in my formal Summer A uniform as a Cadet 1st Sergeant, one of the highest ranks a high schooler can achieve at the Institute. I was different, but in a positive way. I stood taller, I looked sharper, and I confidence in my path in life. I was a NMMI Cadet, and that something I have the honor of carrying with me for the rest of my life. The cool thing about that is, there is no one that will ever be able to take that away from me. I had found myself at the Institute, through the countless push-ups, vigorous academics, and most importantly the relationships I built at NMMI. I had tapped into wo I truly am.
Now, as a returning cadet at New Mexico Military Institute, I have carried that confidence I assumed during my high school years into my college career. I brought the momentum of finishing high school strong with me, and I have not let anything get in my way of finding more about who I am. That is what NMMI does for you, it opens a gateway into finding your true self. However, the choice is yours… Will you embark on the journey of an NMMI Cadet?
 

True Brothers at NMMI

By Cadet Diego Salido
NMMI Salido BrothersThe first year at NMMI is different for everyone. It is hard because is like nothing we have ever done. It is fun because it is when we find friends in our weakest moments. It is a lot of things, but for me, it was special.
The main reason of why my “RAT” year was special is because I never felt away from home; this was because I literally had family here with me. My older brother was a Sergeant Major, in charge of the discipline of over 200 people– while I was a recruit, the lowest rank in the corps and someone who only had to worry about myself.
My brother taught me everything I needed to know to succeed in this place. He even tried to teach me a lot of things before I came but I just wouldn’t listen to him, and I still regret it. He got me ready for most of the obstacles that I could face here at NMMI. He warned me about RAT week and how challenging it was going to be–omitting some of the details and giving me some surprises. When he refused to help me with something it was only to make me stronger and more independent, because he was trying to guide me rather than carrying me through the whole process of learning at the Institute.
His presence also improved me because he just kept pushing me (or made me push) to perfection. He would not stand catching me doing the wrong thing or wearing my uniform incorrectly. He expected me to set the example for my friends and to have more discipline than the others. I worked hard to prove that I could be the person he expected me to be. The best thing is that our relationship as brothers got stronger. Even if we didn’t talk a lot because of the rules and because of our different schedules, we knew we had each other for whatever we needed.
This year, as a yearling and a Platoon Sergeant, I try to follow his example and I still carry with me all his advice. I work hard every day to make him proud even when he is studying back home.

What it meant to be a RAT (Recruit At Training)

By: Juan Garcia Gutierrez
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One of the main reasons why I came to NMMI was that I wanted to become independent. At the age of fifteen, I thought I could live and take care of myself. Your reason for coming to New Mexico Military Institute does not really matter. What really matters is your motivation to strive for the best and achieve the goals you set for yourself because at the end, you are your own biggest challenge at the Institute.
During your RAT period at NMMI, the worse thing to do is to take something for granted. There are, without a doubt, struggles along the way that will ultimately make you become stronger. One of the main struggles about being a RAT is being away from home. Even if you live in town! Having to learn all of the customs and traditions of the Institute is also a struggle. The most important thing to do that people struggle the most on is most definitely following the rules. The first time you get your Blue Book, which is the document with all standards and rules to follow, you will be very impressed about all the little things that you are not allowed to do that most likely did at home without even thinking. It might seem hard to memorize all the content, but doing it will definitely make your stay at NMMI a lot better!
Along with the struggles at NMMI comes military instruction. This instruction starts from verbal warnings all the way to marching in a rectangle. Everybody makes mistakes along the way because those are part of the learning process. Every single RAT that comes in is like a baby that is learning how to walk and speak. Breaking rules the first twenty-one days is normal and usual. Your cadre, the corps leaders in charge of you, are the ones in charge of coaching and mentoring the RATs to the point where they become “New Cadets” and are able to make the right decisions at the right time for the right purpose. The struggles you overcome help you become a stronger cadet, more organized and with better time management. A piece of advice I have for new incoming RATs is to be respectful at all times, know your place in the chain of command (THE VERY BOTTOM!), and understand that although the person telling you what to do might be younger in age, he/she is wiser in knowledge of the school.
The twenty-one day period changed me in a huge way. By following the rules and keeping my mouth shut when I needed to, I did not even notice that I became a more organized and sharp individual. The twenty-one day period is critical because you absorb information almost the entire day. Classes do not start until two weeks inside training. It is of high importance that RATs pay attention to detail and try learning everything they can during that period because it will help them survive at NMMI. I did and I’m prouder for it!

Spring Break Has a Better Taste

By Carlos Xibelle
Spring Break from NMMI
After working hard in academics, the corps of cadets, and sports for three straight months, the cadets get a break to rest. During these three months, cadets work hard to improve day by day to become better in all areas. A time for rest must come. Spring Break is the time of the year when we go home and enjoy our family and vacations. Spring Break for cadets at NMMI has a better taste. Teachers from school tell cadets that they must work very hard in order to graduate. They must sacrifice their free time in order to read and research, yet when spring break comes they will enjoy it much more. After all my hard work we finally got to Spring Break. My vacation was great. I went to the beach and enjoyed my family and friends. Being at the Institute we sacrifice being away from home, parents, and friends. These sacrifices make us better people because not everybody is willing to sacrifice these things at an early age. When spring break comes, we get to enjoy it like nobody else. I like spending time with my family since I don’t get to see them too often. I like to have fun and enjoy everything I can before going back to the institute. When the time comes to go back, I will put in all the work I need to finish strong.