“War Eagle” chant in her heart drives military career

Cadet Patricia Ramirez works hard at the Land Navigation course, confident she will complete all of LDAC successfully. U.S. Army photo by Jesse Beals

By Noelle Wiehe
U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – For Cadet Patricia Ramirez, the plan was always to have the Army play a role in her life.

“I’m either going to marry a military man or be in it,” she said.

When she concluded it wasn’t going to happen the same way it did for her mom – by marriage – she took matters into her own hands. Ramirez’s social life has been at the mercy of the military ever since. Her mom met her step-dad inside the Post Exchange at Riyadh Air Base in Saudi Arabia, where she was working as a civilian.

Once her step-dad won her mom over and the two of them got married, he moved her family onto post where Ramirez attended an American school in Saudi Arabia for six years. The family then moved to Washington, DC while he was stationed at Fort Belvior. Ramirez admits that she felt sheltered in her Saudi Arabian school compared to the diverse group of individuals she encountered at her U.S. elementary school. From there, her family went to Kennesaw, Ga. while her step-dad was stationed at Fort McPherson before finally moving to Fort Bragg, N.C. where her family currently resides.

Originally born in the Philippines, Ramirez said she had gotten used to moving around as a child. The first time she graduated from the same school she started was when she attended Carlton J. Kell High School in Marietta, Ga. Now, she attends Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

Ramirez is majoring in psychology in hopes of becoming a clinical psychologist should she be assigned to her desired branch, the medical services corps. She is also a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority where she is the only woman to also be in ROTC.

“I have the best of both worlds,” she said.

Supportive people surround Ramirez, from her sorority sisters who have already sent her letters since she arrived with 10th Regiment at Warrior Forge, to cadre at her school who have no doubts she will be a vital asset to the U.S. Army.

“I really think she’s going to be a good Cadet and a great officer,” said Master Sgt. Darryl Walker, freshman trainer at Auburn University. “She’s got the personality that makes for a great leader. She’s definitely one of the most likeable [of the Auburn Cadets], the other Cadets kind of gravitate to her and she motivates them, as well.”

At LDAC, Ramirez claims she has not struggled with any training but, instead, believes she was over prepared for the challenge thanks to her ROTC cadre at Auburn.

Walker said that, at Auburn, Cadets go through about six different land navigation courses as well as practice physical training tests twice a month to get them ready for the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC).

“I definitely think she, as well as the rest of the Auburn Cadets are definitely ready,” Walker said. “We can tell by a lot of the scores coming back from our people out there. I’m very happy with our Cadets this year.”

Her training has proven effective so far. Ramirez passed her Army Physical Fitness Test as well as got four out of five points at Land Navigation. Her only worry is about facing her “dislike” – she won’t say fear – of heights.

While Ramirez is only beginning her military career, her father has retired as an E7 (Sgt. 1st Class) and is now working as a civilian contractor for the Army. What Ramirez looks forward to upon graduation from LDAC is more than just receiving her gold bar: “When I commission, he’ll actually have to salute to me,” she said proudly. “I’m excited for it.”

From Army bases to a university where she first lived on her own, Ramirez has seen her share of different cultures. As she continues to develop and progress as an Army officer, though, she will see that her travels are far from over and all that she will experience will be shaping her life even more.

Following in her step-father’s footsteps, she will continue to see the world but no longer as an Army brat. Instead, she will pave her own path as an Army officer.

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