Regimental Commander Caleb Miller encourages first-year cadets in Facebook address

Norwich University’s new rook class arrived in a two-day spurt last week, heralding Rook Week’s approach and swelling the Corps of Cadets toward its COVID-19-reduced on-campus capacity for the fall semester. Caleb Miller, the new regimental commander, welcomed them virtually.

The Corps’ Instagram page posted a photo of lined-up rooks in their trademark maroon baseball caps and new black face masks on Friday. In a Facebook video the same day, Miller, who succeeded 2020 graduate Ethan Hagstrom as the Corps of Cadets’ highest-ranking student leader, lauded the new rooks for meeting challenges.

“Trust the system, trust your cadre. And never quit.” Caleb Miller, regimental commander, Norwich University Corps of Cadets

“Three years ago, I was where you are — I was a freshman, I was a recruit and I was scared and didn’t know what I was getting into,” said Miller, a criminal justice major and four-year U.S. Marine Corps ROTC scholarship recipient. “Some of you, like me, had never stepped into a military environment. That’s OK, because we’re here to teach you.”

Miller, who will join the command staff in operational planning, logistics and other key Corps functions, said for the teaching to succeed, the rooks must accept failure. Each misstep is a chance to grow, he suggested; leaders learn more from defeats than from victories.

“(U.S. President) Teddy Roosevelt said, ‘The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything,’” Miller added. “Take that to heart and don’t be afraid of the mistakes you’re going to make. These failures are the experiences that will break you down and build you up stronger than before.”

As President Emeritus Richard W. Schneider did last fall, Miller encouraged the new rooks to persevere and finish the journey they’ve started.

“Trust the system, trust your cadre,” Miller said. “And never quit.”

(Slideshow photos by Mark Collier.)

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