The five federal service academies are, first and foremost, leadership institutions tasked with providing their parent services with the highest quality junior officers. These young men and women represent the “best of the best” and receive a nationally ranked education and world-renowned training opportunity to establish the very foundation of their service officer corps. Both the academic and athletic portions of the academy experience contribute to their growth as sound and knowledgeable leaders of character and integrity. The academies invest heavily into the creation of young cadets and midshipmen as leaders because they cast the dye for the uniform cloth that represents each service. Given the emphasis placed on leadership at the academies, it is logical to assume that Greystone would also invest much time and energy in leadership development and training so that our students enter the academies as proven, experienced and capable leaders of character.

Lieutenant General Dave Palmer, USA (Ret.), Former Superintendent of West Point and Distinguished Graduate from the Class of 1956 - "Character is your destiny".

To accomplish this goal of leadership development, Greystone requested guidance and assistance from the academies to establish a Professional Development program that consists of a Character Development course, Leadership Training course, Klocko Leadership Lecture Series, Hatchett Character Development Series, Ziglar Time Management training, Effective Communications training (public speaking and communication skills improvement) as well as involvement in community service. The intent of the Greystone Professional Development program is to establish a foundational platform from which candidates will enter the academies knowing what was expected of them as aspiring leaders and set the example for their classmates to emulate. Greystone developed the Character Development and Leadership Training programs from course material received from West Point, Naval Academy and Air Force Academy Ethics, Leadership and Law courses as well as their Honor and Conduct programs. Through the Greystone Professional Development Program, students are introduced to the fundamentals of leadership, ethics and morality - and then given the opportunity to utilize the leadership skills they will learn.

Character is the foundation upon which we must build to win respect. Just as no building can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak character.
- R.C. Samsel

The Greystone Character Development and Leadership Training courses empower each class with the knowledge and understanding needed to write their own Honor Code as well as their own Standards of Conduct. Through this exercise, students grasp the purpose behind the academy honor codes in addition to the need for academy discipline, rules and regulations. The Greystone Class must not only create each document from scratch, they must also agree on content – and then present their Honor Code and Standards of Conduct in a public forum. In this ceremony, students present their work, answer questions from the community and at the end, sign each document signifying their intent to live by their Code and Standard. What makes the Greystone program so unique and meaningful for our students is that the Honor Code and Standards of Conduct are owned and enforced by the students. Members of the Greystone Honor and Conduct Committees are tasked to investigate all suspected violations and present their findings to the Class. The Class then hears the facts of the case and votes as to whether a violation occurred or not. The Greystone Honor and conduct Mentor (LTC John Young, USMCR (Ret.)) oversees the entire process. However, it is a powerful learning tool to ensure that Greystone students live by a higher standard...the academy standard!

In addition to the development of the Class Honor Code and Standards of Conduct, the Character Development and Leadership Training courses provide students with real-time opportunities to test their values, beliefs, honor, integrity and courage to do what is right by engaging in an in-depth analysis of current examples of character and leadership. Through Class interaction, role-playing and guest speakers, students are provided with a hands-on experience that forces them to assess their decisions and actions as leaders of character and honor. Classroom exercises expand beyond the confines of the campus into teambuilding and leadership opportunities provided by our outdoor team activities (camping) and participation in the ROTC JFTX (Reserve Officer Training Corps, Field Training Exercises and Labs) where Greystone engages other ROTC units in competition at Camp Bullis outside of San Antonio. Our objective is to train students in the fundamentals of leadership and character, and when ready, present them with opportunities in which they can test themselves individually and as a team. It is clear that the Greystone Character Development and Leadership Training program has played a role in a bare minimum number of academy conduct offences and “zero” honor offences. Over the past 15 years, 16 Greystoners used their experience with the Greystone Honor Committee to serve on academy honor committees, and 10 who assumed leadership positions within the various academy honor programs as seniors. On the world stage, Greystone graduates have played a role in international events as members of SEAL Teams, Rangers, Green Berets and on ships afloat around the world - and they did so as leaders of honor and character. Other recent Greystone academy graduates are in Flight Training, Nuclear Submarine Training, Intelligence Officer School, Surface Warfare Officer School, The Basic School (Marine Corps) – they are living their dream honorably!

One of the more significant portions of the Greystone experience has to do with the students exercising their leadership and decision-making skills. During the first semester, students learn the operations of the Greystone program and, therefore, our standard expectation regarding their academic, athletic and leadership performance directly from the Staff. This portion of the program is extremely time consuming as well as manpower intensive with respect to individual counseling and team organizational meetings. However, the students soon learn, internalize, and put into practice the higher standard and expectation of being a Greystone student and leader. This is of extreme importance to their development as effective military leaders because upon their return from the Christmas Holiday, the students assume the authority and responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the Greystone program.

I believe that you can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.
- Zig Zigler

It is imperative the students work as a team – all are assigned leadership responsibilities and therefore they must exercise what they have learned as leaders, teammates and followers to accomplish all tasks. The ultimate goal of the Greystone leadership program is that students demonstrate they can succeed as leaders on their own without guidance provided by the Greystone Staff – thus developing their self-confidence. They will try as a leader – sometimes they will succeed and sometimes they will fail – but failure only means they will try something else in order to succeed. As a leader, they will soon realize that giving up is not an option – success requires making decisions until they succeed. When other students depend upon them as their leader to succeed, this lesson and experience becomes priceless. Leadership is best learned, not necessarily by reading a book, but by putting it to the test and that means experience! This experience not only serves to empower the leader, but it also helps to bind the team closer together as a unit. By learning how to motivate and inspire their teammates, Greystoner’s also learn to help others to accomplish their established goals. Leadership by oneself is not leadership – it requires others who trust in the leader to succeed!

During each semester, students are selected from the Class to serve as team leaders and organizers. For example, students are assigned within the Administrative Chain of Command as the Class President or Logistics Officer. To view the organizational leadership chart please see here. However, not all students will be awarded a leadership position during the Fall Semester. The students rotate positions during the Spring Semester to ensure that all students have a leadership responsibility. Having such responsibility forces students to work together as a team toward a common or shared goal. The “Team” concept serves Greystone well because it forces students to be involved and help each other. In so doing, the team improves its overall level of performance – weakness is replaced with strength for both the team and the individual. This has application in all Greystone activities including academics, athletics and leadership.

Integrity is the commitment to do what is right regardless of the circumstances - no hidden agendas, no political games. do the right thing, period.

- Ken Carnes

At Greystone, emphasis is placed upon the development of an individual's moral compass. With students joining the team from around the country, not every candidate arrives with the same set of core values or an understanding of character and integrity – not every moral compass is necessarily aligned to true North. Within Greystone, there is no “rule book” or “regulation manual” – the students will receive that and more when they arrive at the academies. Rather, our focus is to develop a reliable “moral compass” that the candidate will come to rely as part of his or her decision-making process. What it boils down to is the development of the ability to determine on their own what is “right and wrong” – and then motivate them to act on what is right because it is the right thing to do! This is not an easy undertaking for candidates who are 18 or 19 years old, however, success in this endeavor will help them immensely when they arrive at the academies and assume the responsibility as a leader. Once developed, some of our students refer to it as their “inner voice” and some even say it sounds much like the Director’s voice, however, it serves as their guide which will empower them to become more confident leaders and decision makers. Where they are going in their military career does not often afford them the luxury to create a study, take a poll or read a report in order to decide on and then execute an effective plan of action. This is where a strong moral compass comes into play and therefore, we spend a generous amount of time working with students to exercise their sense of character which then refines their own ability to determine what is right or wrong – we align their moral compass. By dedicating much of the program to the development of a higher sense of character, integrity and honor, Greystone students are better prepared to make that seamless lateral transition into the academy lifestyle.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.

– Aristotle

In addition to the formal Professional Development courses that are taught on Saturday mornings, students attend evening lectures as part of the Hatchett and Klocko Lecture series. Students hear from exceptional leaders of character and integrity who have experienced what it means to be a leader in the military and civilian world. In addition to the lectures, students are afforded the opportunity to engage in discussion with the speakers and to ask questions – a vital key to enhanced development of our leaders. To supplement their professional development as future leaders, Greystone students are members of the Greystone Effective Communications program that meets every Friday. Through Effective Communication, students learn the art of public speaking and are able to think critically and speak effectively – and then are required to utilize what they have learned into practice.

Lastly, Greystone students participate in Community Service. Through their involvement as teacher assistants in the local elementary school, Graystone’s exercise their teambuilding, leadership and instructional skills. Their Community Service also enables students to learn the meaning of “servant leadership” and they have the chance to exercise their leadership skills as a mentor as well as a team leader in an organized environment. This empowers each candidate to further develop their self-confidence and feel a strong sense of accomplishment in such that what they are doing for others really does matter and make a difference.


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