On Friday, May 20th, the sword of command was passed from one to the other as Richard Michael Dunleavy ‘17 took over the duty as Regimental Commander from Brooke Liu ‘16 during the final parade of the academic calendar. Pictures from Friday’s parade available online at https://farragut.smugmug.com/UpperSchool/20152016-School-Year/Events-on-Fri-May-20.
It was an emotional moment for Richard, who also goes by his middle name Michael, who had heard the announcement by 1st Sgt. David Worthy last Thursday that he had been selected as the 2016-17 Regimental Commander.
“Everything hit me at once, from nervousness, anxiety, excitement, pride, happiness,” said Richard, who will lead the corps of cadets in his senior year.
Richard arrived at Farragut “seemingly eons ago” for prek and kindergarten, but then went to an elementary school in Seminole until sixth grade. He decided to return to Farragut because “he knew it would be the best place for him to hone in on his strengths.” He has been here ever since, becoming involved with the NJROTC throughout upper school.
“I’ve learned an immense amount about discipline, structure, and leadership by watching the senior cadets,” Richard said. “While the task at hand is a difficult one, I am ready because I have learned from the best.”
Richard said he has leaned on Brooke for plenty of advice. Brooke, who will be attending Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, graduates this weekend with the Class of 2016.
“I have picked her brain on many different topics about how to lead, how to carry yourself and how to communicate with the cadets,” said Richard, who served as the Regimental Master Chief Petty Officer throughout the 2015-16 academic calendar. “Her guidance and leadership this year, along with the other cadets, 1st Sgt. Worthy, Commander (Rick) Schock and Commandant (Todd) Wallingford have been instrumental in helping me learn how to be a leader.”
1st Sgt. Worthy said Richard set a standard that set him apart from the rest of the candidates.
“One thing we’re always looking for is that one cadet leader who will be able to command the respect of the entire regiment, the entire student body of the school, in an even-keeled manner,” 1st Sgt. Worthy said. “We want the leader we choose to have already climbed the ladder of success and be ready to assume the kind of responsibilities of a regimental commander. He’s a proven leader. Not only do I see it, but the commanders see it, the other cadets see it.”
One of the ways Richard exhibited leadership qualities was through an Eagle Scout project that helped benefit the City of Madeira Beach. Throughout most of 2015, he organized his troop to insert a salt marsh nursery for spartina alterniflora at the Madeira Beach 9/11 Memorial, which sits on a portion of Causeway Park.
“It was a very extensive production because they only have one person dedicated to working on parks and recreation,” said Richard, who will work as an intern with the City of Madeira Beach to improve the parks throughout the city. “It took creativity, communication and cooperation between many different individuals to get this done, but I learned an incredible amount about how to run an organization, a business, and a government.”
Richard also has become more involved with DigiGone, the company his father founded in 2007. DigiGone develops specialized encrypted communication software applications and hardware to meet the needs of a unique client base that includes commercial maritime, business jets, law enforcement, special operations, and intelligence organizations.
“I work in various roles at the company but I am mainly focused on improving and updating the software applications while finding ways to partner with major companies throughout the world,” Richard said.
Other Cadet Leaders Announced for 2016-17
To Be Battalion Commander
- A Battalion Commander Kyndal Olander
- A Battalion Executive Officer Alan Torres
- B Battalion Commander Zack Fine
- B Battalion Executive Officer Shawn Simon
- C Battalion Commander Jaylen Bowden
- C Battalion Executive Officer Patrick Hales
To be members of the Regimental Staff
- Administrative Officer Victoria Padovan
- Public Affairs Officer Danielle Greco
- Operations Officer Ivan Volkov Baer
- Training Officer George Hamilton
- Logistics Officer Alina Dixon
- Supply Officer Valentina Galliano Fornaro
- Community Service Officer Camille Walker
- 1st Lieutenant Jeremiah Zio
Class of 2016 Cadet Leaders and their Matriculation
- Ruiqi (Brooke) Liu — Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
- Sasha Desilva — Johns Hopkins
- Jack Winters — Merchant Marine Academy
- Corynn Miner — University of Tampa
- Maiya Fudge — Bethune-Cookman University
- Andrew Cevasco — Boston University
- Michael Cooney — UF
- Franceska Akel — USF
- George Dyche — UF
- Rachel Goldstein — Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Jack Seabrook — Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Kollyn Thomas — Flagler College
- Jhonnelle Young — Oregon State University
- Jack Lescarbeau — Arizona State University